2016 Focus - Good for the Planet

2016 Focus

Barilla chooses the best ingredients for its products, focusing not only on their quality, but also on the sustainability of the farming practices used to produce them.

The rights of the people involved in the supply chain
, the impacts of the production of raw materials on the environment and on animal welfare are key parameters in choosing raw materials.

The environmental impact of the food chain is indeed significant. Amongst the various methods used to assess environmental impacts, Barilla has adopted since 2009 the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the products to calculate the impact on the environment of all product’s “life steps” from field to table, taking three indicators into consideration: greenhouse gas emissions (Carbon Footprint), the consumption of water resources (Water Footprint) and the use of soil (Ecological Footprint). The environmental impact of 423 raw materials used in the recipes was measured.

The study showed that the most significant step in the life of a product, in terms of emissions, is cultivation, because of different factors, such as: use of fertilisers, pesticides, diesel fuel for machinery and water for irrigation.

For this reason, Barilla has decided to develop and promote more efficient and sustainable agronomic practices. In collaboration with scientific partners and suppliers, it has identified Sustainable Cultivation projects for all the supply chains of the key ingredients.


ObjectivesAchieved ResultsUsed Quantity
  • Favour the dissemination of sustainable practices identifying more efficient cultivation systems in all countries.


The implementation of cultivation projects continues in the countries where the raw materials are purchased, and procurement is made following dedicated regulations.


Collaborations are in place in Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany to identify the best agricultural practices.

Durum Wheat: 1,167,835 t

Durum wheat semolina: 215,000 t

Common wheat: 82,356 t

Common wheat flour: 363,941 t

Rye: 34,831 t

Rye flour: 23,251 t

  • Collaborate with producers’ associations to improve cultivation practices and farmers’ competitiveness.
  • Favour local supplies in the Countries where the product is used.

Italy: 70% of tomato is certified according to the Global G.A.P. sustainable agriculture standard.

United States: the process to identify the best agricultural practices all along the cultivation process has started.

53,674 tons of which:

45,639 t purchased in Italy

8,036 t purchased in the USA

  • Use exclusively oils from supply chains with high environmental standards


Italy: collaboration with the main suppliers, such as Cereal Docks and Coppini, to provide support to farmers and favour crop rotation.


France: The analysis of the local context and possible relationships of cooperation is in progress.

Sunflower oil: 20,003 tons

Rapeseed  oil: 5,998 tons

  • Procurement only from supply chains in line with Barilla Guidelines on Animal Welfare.

Italy: 100% category “A” eggs from cage-free hens.

France: 100% category “A” eggs from cage-free hens for Mulino Bianco and progressive use of this type of eggs also for Harrys products with the aim of completing transition by March 2017. 

United States, Russia and Brazil: the analysis to identify suppliers of eggs from cage-free hens is ongoing.

Total volumes of eggs from cage-free hens: 78%

23,691 tons of which:

18,543 t purchase in Italy

4,809 t purchased in France

260 t purchased in Brazil


Procure products following the Barilla Guidelines on “Sustainable Packaging” that establish:

  • Reduction of the quantity of packaging material
  • Use of recyclable packaging
  • Use of materials from responsibly managed forests
  • Life Cycle Analysis of the packaging

100% purchases according to Guidelines

100% of cardboard in virgin fibre is certified according to the FSC, PEFC and SFI standards

99% of Barilla packaging is recyclable

billion packs in paper and cardboard

More than 25,000 t of flexible film


For the critical supply chains, Barilla asks the suppliers to subscribe to the Sedex platform, validated on a quarterly basis, to ensure full respect of human rights. Additionally, 100% of the suppliers receive Barilla’s Code of Ethics.



Used Quantity

Support projects of sustainable procurement in collaboration with the main suppliers and define specific ethical-environmental standards.

1,005 t

Carry on the project to support the communities of the cocoa supply chain in Africa, in collaboration with the main supplier Barry Callebaut and its Foundation.

100% of Barilla’s cocoa suppliers are members of the World Cocoa Foundation.

11,455 t

Procure products from supply chains in line with Barilla’s Guidelines on Animal Welfare and apply these Guidelines to all the Group’s supplies by 2020.

In Italy, Guidelines are already applied to all supplies.

2,666 t

drawn up in collaboration with the Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) organisation

Barilla focuses in particular on two supply chains:

  1. Eggs from cage-free hens
  2. Supply chain of meat for sauces

We do not use products made from farmed fish, but only tuna. All tuna suppliers are MSC certified: Marine Stewardship Council.

Animal Welfare Criteria

Barilla acknowledges that animals are sentient beings and Animal Welfare includes both their physical and mental wellbeing, and their ability to express their species-specific behaviour according to the following freedoms:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst;
  • Freedom to have a suitable physical environment; 
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease;
  • Freedom to express normal species-specific behaviour;
  • Freedom from fear and distress.


Animal Welfare Management

Animal welfare standards, which are an integral part of the contracts signed by egg and meat suppliers, are periodically audited. If the supplier does not comply with the standards, Barilla defines a remediation plan according to the seriousness of the non-conformity.



  • All the animals bred in our supply chains must have appropriate access to feed and water to satisfy their needs and thus reduce aggressions.
  • Density and enriched cages must grant the wellbeing and comfort of animals, enabling them to express species-specific behaviour.
  • Routine mutilations must be avoided, unless strictly necessary to preserve the wellbeing of animals.
  • The transport of animals must be always carried out minimising potential causes of stress and limiting its duration as much as possible. Transport times exceeding 8 hours should be always avoided. 
  • Furthermore, animals must be always stunned before slaughtering.
  • Antibiotics must be used responsibly, reducing their use and avoiding their prophylactic use, whenever possible.
  • The use of hormones for growth is not allowed.
  • Genetic engineering or cloning on breeding animals and/or on their progeny is not allowed.
  • The selection of breeds should take place on the basis of traits giving better wellbeing and not only increased productivity.

Barilla purchases durum wheat both through cultivation contracts, and through contracts drawn up to cover specific uses.  Cultivation contracts include shared specifications with producers’ association that contain specific details for the cultivation and storage of raw materials.

This leads to higher productivity, better quality and lower environmental impact of the raw material by granting premiums according to the quality provided.



In 2009 we started in Italy a specific project for sustainable agriculture in collaboration with HORTA, a spin-off of the Università Cattolica of Piacenza. We also started similar projects in other geographies where durum wheat is grown.

We firstly compared the various agronomic practices and then identified the most efficient and sustainable ones. We then proceeded with validation, having performed full field tests in different Italian locations.

These practices, such as crop rotation, have been translated into the “Barilla Decalogue for Sustainable Cultivation of Durum Wheat”.

In addition to the Decalogue, the platform granoduro.net was developed  as a support system to advise farmers on technical decisions, such as fertilizing and treatments against diseases, using meteorological data, soil characteristics, mathematical models and field observations. Thanks to the combined application of the Decalogue and granoduro.net, the monitoring data collected shows that it is possible to reduce up to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions and production costs as well as to increase production yields up to 20%, thus ensuring a higher income for farmers. Since 2012 this system has succeeded in constantly reducing the environmental impacts, increasing profits and producers’ resilience, especially during critical years. This tool has been made available to farmers free of charge also for the wheat not sold to the Group.


732,000 t of durum wheat ground in Barilla mills 

of which:

  • 564,000 t purchase in Italy
  • 400,000 t with Cultivation Contracts
  • 190,000 t from more than 1,500 armers participating in the Sustainable Durum Wheat project

New Supply Chain Contracts in Italy

After a decade-long collaboration with many farms, in 2016, Barilla introduced three-year cultivation contracts, as opposed to annual ones; these longer contracts are meant to reward virtuous Italian farming, enhancing and promoting  local durum wheat. The new contracts, starting from the 2017 harvest, will account for about 55% of the durum wheat ground in Italy in Barilla mills and will engage 50 suppliers and more than 5,000 farms.

Purchased amount
141,835 t
Cooperation with the Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute of Konya to identify more sustainable cultivation methods in Central Anatolia.
Purchased amount
229,000 t
Cooperation with Agri-Food Canada and North Dakota University to identify and publish the best agronomic techniques for durum wheat cultivation.
Purchased amount
22.000 t
Cooperation with local organisations to complete the assessment of environmental impacts of current agronomic practices.
65.000 t durum wheat purchased in Greece, of which 15,000 t with Cultivation ContractsCooperation with the University of Thessaly to define sustainable cultivation methods. The Decalogue for Sustainable Cultivation of Durum Wheat was completed and the testing of the agronomic decision support system granoduro.net is ongoing.


All Barilla products are safe and in full compliance with the existing Laws. As to glyphosate in particular, Barilla has taken a firm commitment to be a glyphosate-free Company in all our sourcing of durum wheat for the European pasta business.

We have implemented a durum sourcing plan that requires suppliers to deliver durum wheat without glyphosate (levels below any detection limit) and bans the usage of glyphosate in the pre-harvest phase.

The sourcing plan is already in execution with contracted volumes from Australia and US Desert as well as with the definition of glyphosate-free planting contracts in the Canadian and US Northern Plains. We have clearly stated to the US and Canadian durum suppliers that we will source only glyphosate-free durum for our European pasta business and have pushed them to apply agronomic practices that can ensure the absence of glyphosate in their productions.