Italy: Hazelnut hike for Piedmont as major chocolatiers ink production deal
The deal follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed earlier this year with the aim of promoting the development of Italy's hazelnut sector in terms of quality and quantity. It involves Italian chocolate manufacturers of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and a large portfolio of confectionery, Ferrero International and the Italian Institute for Services to the Agricultural and Food Market (ISMEA).
The move comes in response to the growing demand for hazelnut supply locally and aims to reduce the country's dependence on importing large quantities from overseas.
Although the exact production increase has not been finalized, volumes will rise in the coming years with the supply chain specifically developed to become more efficient and sustainable.
Piedmont Region President Sergio Chiamparino attended a press conference in Alba recently alongside ISMEA president Ezio Castiglione and operations director for Ferrero International Nuncio Santos, to announce the development.
A newly formed Ferrero Hazelnut Company has been set up to support research, training, and development of nursery production as well as sourcing and contracting local farmers to work with.
Currently the organizations are analyzing which varieties will produce the largest yields with the highest quality and mapping the areas best suited to commercial production.
"For us this agreement represents a great opportunity, and the region will use all of the tools at its disposal to ensure that the agreement will become a real development opportunity," Chiamparino said at the conference.
"The participation of Ferrero is particularly important and the Piedmont region appreciates the company’s desire to be rooted more in our territory."
Ferrero is the third largest chocolate producer in the world and was originally founded in Alba, Piedmont in 1946.