“Italy will have a flash of strength that will lead us towards recovery.” Guido Barilla, president of the group of the same name, during the interview with the director of La Stampa, Massimo Giannini, organized as part of the Mantuan leg of the tour “The Alphabet of the Future”, dedicated to food, tells of the desire for redemption that it perceives in businesses and in people and appeals to the energies of young people who have to get involved by leaving the “easy subsidies” to enter the job market.
How do you see the prospects for the Italian economy?
«A year of compression like the one we experienced was only in the postwar period. Our country is tried by a heavy situation of stress and there is will, determination and energy ready to operate that will blossom soon. The whole big company worked with difficulty and we can’t wait to reopen to direct contact with people ».
Are you worried about the social equilibrium of the unblocking of layoffs?
«There will be moments of high tension because there are industrial supply chains in great difficulty. Food has had a very difficult but positive life, not so in other sectors. When there is more liberalization, there may be a deep crisis. But I believe there may be a countertrend driven by the need, in other sectors, for an important workforce that can balance the difficulties ».
The challenges of food, Barilla: “The food system needs to be refounded and the pandemic is not forgotten”
It seems a paradox, there is a hunger for work but many companies complain about the difficulty in finding qualified personnel. What is happening?
“Many people find that staying at home with the subsidy is more comfortable than putting themselves out there looking for jobs that are probably even low-paying. There is an attitude of relaxation on the part of some that I hope ends because instead everyone’s energy is needed. I appeal to young people: do not sit on easy situations, have the strength to give up easy subsidies and get involved. Enter the job market, everyone is needed and especially you “.
What opportunity will the Pnrr be for our country and for your business?
«It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we have an extraordinary need for. As far as the food sector is concerned, we need innovation that is very expensive and even more to be financed by the state. The opportunity to receive this money is not to be thrown away and we must unify our forces so as not to waste it. Technology and digitalization must help to de-bureaucratise the state, to simplify the rules and to make possible a better agility in operating “.
Lifestyles and consumption: what has changed and what will remain after?
«Many things have changed and even suddenly. The change was so dramatic and rapid that many people acted on the wave of anxiety and irrationality. At first, people bought phobically, to grab food without logic. So they emptied all distribution quickly and the industry struggled to redesign supplies. The people, forced to stay at home, have come back emotionally to food and to preparations that were forgotten. But the risk is that he will quickly forget ».
Before, when we talked about sustainability, there seemed to be little concreteness. Has anything changed now?
«Today we all use the word sustainability but few stop to delve into what the major macro causes are. One is demographic development which is totally out of control. The second is urbanization that has changed the face of the world by concentrating billions of people in very limited areas. These are two reasons that are at the origin of the need to re-establish the system linked to food ».
What role can Italy play in the next international summits on the issue?
«It has an extraordinarily important role. It has all the raw materials and a culture on the subject superior to any other country. So it will have to play a fundamental role. There is an increasing awareness that food is a strategic sector but this has not been the case for too long. We need attention, skills, culture and information because it is a heritage that will guarantee work and quality ».
What is his state of mind?
“The awareness of this period, the energy that has developed, I believe is premonitory of a very positive future”.