Barilla has a long-standing commitment to sustainability. Since 2000, we helped the Group to assess the environmental impacts of their products. For its flagship product, durum wheat pasta, we discovered that durum wheat cultivation represents one of the main hotspots of environmental impacts.To increase the sustainability of its supply chain, Barilla decided to identify and spread the adoption of more sustainable cropping systems for durum wheat: this statement, in 2008, was the main pillar of the Barilla Sustainable Farming project.



LCE supported Barilla in the development and coordination of this project’s activities. The cooperation with HORTA (a Piacenza Catholic University’s spin-off) to identify potential improvements in the most diffused cropping systems for the cultivation of durum wheat in Italy was the very basis of the project’s success. The analysis was carried out using agronomic, environmental and economic indicators.

Field tests in selected farms were done comparing various agronomic practices, including crop rotation, to evaluate the most efficient and sustainable ones. The results were published in a Handbook for sustainable cultivation of quality durum wheat in Italy, which serves as a source of practical suggestions for farmers. Farmers were also provided with a decision support system (DSS),,  providing advice on how to optimize main cultivation practices.



The implementation and use of the handbook and DSS allows reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and production costs and by up to 30% and increasing production yields by 20%, with improved revenue for the farmers. Since 2012, this system has been successfully applied by the Group to reduce the environmental impacts of its supply chain, while increasing profits for farmers and system resilience, especially during critical years.

In 2013, the project won the EUROPEAN CSR AWARDS SCHEME.



“In LCE we found a trustworthy team characterized by high competence and ability to listen. They were able to perfectly identify with our situation and to understand our needs.

With competence and a multidisciplinary approach, they have helped us to quickly identify the critical points of our problem and find effective, “holistic” responses which entailed sustainability in all its respects.”

Cesare Ronchi, Head of Barilla’s Sustainable Farming program