For Ferrero, the chestnut territory is suitable for its development plan in Italy. The mayor appeals to farmers to increase crops
NOMAGLIO . Negotiations are still underway between the Ferrero confectionery group and the small Municipality of Nomaglio for the development of a hazelnut supply chain for the production of Nutella, the leading product of the multinational with a plant in Alba and with 24 other production sites around the world.
Mayor Ellade Peller invites citizens to collaborate: «Ferrero is willing to provide technical support, through a support plan for local agricultural businesses, but it is private individuals who have to plant the hazelnut groves. It takes a lot of them to ensure profitability. I therefore invite farmers, especially the younger ones who can also benefit from state contributions, to start new crops ».
The project was in fact born from a meeting between the mayor and the top management of the Ferrero group who then made an inspection to assess the land and the margins for action. Which are there, but which need to be developed.
«The cultivation of walnut and hazelnut plants – adds Peller – is an integral part of the Nomagliese tradition. In the past, almost every family in the country owned one or more hazelnuts. However, it has always remained secondary to the cultivation of chestnuts, which for many years supported the economy of our small town ».
According to the studies carried out by Ferrero, the Nomaglio terroir with its woods «has all the credentials to produce quality hazelnuts – the mayor remarked -. Which are what the confectionery multinational needs, not only for Nutella, but for many of its other products ».
Yet the import of hazelnuts from Italy is about 12%. 70% comes from Turkey and the remainder from other countries. Based on its development plan, the Alba-based company would like to increase the supply of raw materials through a national supply chain capable of guaranteeing high quality standards. By 2025, it intends to bring the 70,000 currently cultivated with hazelnuts in Italy to 90,000 hectares: a quantity that would in any case only meet 5% of Ferrero’s production needs. Already in 2018 the multinational of the sweet had presented the “Italy project” to propose to farmers to plant hazelnut trees, committing themselves to purchase the product at a guaranteed minimum price, for a predefined period of time.
The confectionery giant of Alba had also signed three memoranda of understanding with Ismea and the Regions of Lazio, Tuscany and Piedmont.
“In Nomaglio – continues the mayor – the land downstream should also be used, which instead are at risk of abandonment”.