The company is launching a range of biscuits made entirely of sustainable soft wheat, baked in the company’s largest biscuit factory in Castiglione delle Stiviere, which produces 108,000 tons of biscuits annually.
The move is part of Barilla’s Carta Del Mulino initiative for the sustainable cultivation of soft wheat agricultural, drawn up in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, the University of Bologna and the University of Tuscia.
The charter contains 10 rules designed to bring quality to products, support the work of farmers’ communities and restore space to nature in agroecosystems, promoting biodiversity, reducing the use of chemicals and preserving pollinating insects.
The regulations prohibits the use of glyphosate, as well as GMO seeds – not only in Italy, but also in those where they are legal.
Only certified seeds are used under the Carta del Mulino, to ensure the cultivation of the chosen varieties and, through guaranteeing the health of the seed, to contain the spread of diseases and protect the plant in the early stages of growth.
It also has provisions for crop rotation, which is essential for soil fertility, and commits farmers to reserving a 3% area for flower cultivation to promote the proliferation of pollinating insects, such as bees.
To date, around 500 entities – including farms, mills and stackers – have signed the Carta del Mulino, and the food manufacturer aims to add another 5,000 signatories over the next three years.
Mulino Bianco awards those farmers who adhere to the Carta del Mulino by covering costs, for example, to create flowering areas (Fiori del Mulino) not treated with chemicals.
Commitment to consumers
According to Paolo Barilla, president of the Barilla Group, the regulation represents the Group’s ‘Good for you, Good for the plant’ mission and its ambition to eventually make all of its Mulino Bianco-branded products with 100% sustainable soft wheat.
Barilla is also committed to improving the efficiency of production processes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and thermal energy, as well as moving to recyclable packaging.
In 2018, the company cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29% per finished product compared to 2010, while water consumption fell by almost a quarter.
It also invested around €40m in 2016 to improve its products’ nutritional profile, reducing more than 4,350 tons of saturated fats and replacing palm oil in all bakery products with vegetable oils.