This is the story of Bonifiche Ferraresi and BF spa, Italy’s leading agro-industrial group. . Journalist Guido Fontanelli reports it in an article published on 31 August by the Italian weekly investigative, economic, political and current affairs magazine Panorama We share it with you by pinpointing the key concepts. We have to go back to 1871 to trace the birth of Bonifiche Ferraresi, but Fontanelli quickly skips over the company’s “ancient history” and the various ownership changes to focus on the last seven years. He wants to understand how Bonifiche became the largest agricultural company in Italy and what is the driving force behind the first and only agri-food hub listed on the stock exchange, which is headed by the holding company BF spa.
The spark that set the whole process in motion was the enlightened idea of creating an integrated agri-food supply chain, from the genome to the shelf, all the way to the consumer’s table, to give production stability to the country’s agricultural commitment. This task was not easy or obvious. The ‘visionary’ who inspired and accomplished this ‘mission impossible’ is called Federico Vecchioni, CEO of BF spa. In 2014, he founded a group of Italian (financial and industrial) investors and agricultural consortia promoted by Coldiretti, which took over control of Bonifiche Ferraresi from the Bank of Italy, decisively defeating major foreign investors interested in Italian land. He had already pictured everything: he wanted to create an agro-industrial hub based on sustainable and technologically advanced agriculture from north to south and provide quality employment through significant investments in training at all levels. Mission accomplished. Today, the BF hub has a consolidated balance of more than one billion, and thanks to continuous investment in applied high technology, growth prospects are excellent.
“At the international level,” Vecchioni explains, “over the past few decades, many countries have developed a strategic interest in land, and this phenomenon has taken an unexpected turn, particularly in Africa, where some sovereign states have hoarded agricultural lands. These policies have only confirmed how relevant food production and land ownership are. After all, the land available on the planet today is one and a half billion hectares, of which about 300 million hectares are irrigated. And that is all we have to feed ourselves
Federico Vecchioni proudly states «For the first time, we have created a high-tech agricultural centre that can transfer know-how in Italy and abroad through a single entity with industrial and technological requirements unmatched in Europe, not even among multinationals. Today, BF represents a national high-tech hub, and we will continue to invest in innovations applied to the agricultural and food sector. Perché Because Land and Innovation are an essential match for everyone’s future in Italy and around the world». ».
BF spa’s achievement is tangible proof that skills, courage, great professionalism and innovation can determine the success of a sustainable business under all aspects: environmental, economic and social. This milestone was also celebrated in the documentary film “Il buon lavoro che c’è” presented at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. The short film, directed by Simone Aloisio and journalist Lorenzo Munegato, recounts the Italy of know-how, sacrifice, hard work as well as satisfaction and professional and personal growth. Spanning from agriculture to fashion, healthcare, local products, tourism and hospitality, it best describes a dynamic Italy that knows how to reinvent itself and achieve excellence. Concerning agriculture, it takes the world of BF spa as a reference, highlighting the passion and professionalism of the Bonifiche Ferraresi technicians engaged in the development of precision agriculture and the projects they are carrying out in Africa.