Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Banks and wine companies, sustainability and traceability are the investment “assets” of the future

Today business-banking comparison with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Santa Chiara Lab research with Italian wine

“Joy, synergy, education, excellence, beauty: these are important words when talking about wine, and they are behind a system logic, which if well organized and channeled creates value. This is what we try to stimulate as a bank, because value is what allows you to invest and make innovation, which if done by excellence becomes tradition, in a virtuous circuit that is fundamental for international positioning. When I met Renzo Rosso, the owner of Diesel, 30 years ago, he told me that he did not sell jeans, but a “lifestyle”. The same goes for a bottle, which, with its history, culture, innovation, investment, aging, effort, is an event and as such should be celebrated, and for the ability that wine also has to elevate itself to a lifestyle. And just as culture generates people’s behaviors, so wine influences what happens in an area. It is very important to invest in this logic, because it is the one that makes the difference”. This was said by Luigi Lovaglio, CEO of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, at the conference “Vino Futuro Italia. Identity, Origin, Environment, Quality and Economy”, organized by Banca Mps at Palazzo Salimbeni in Siena for “Wine & Siena”, in reiterating the importance of Italy’s agribusiness industry with more than 160 billion euros in value, and of which wine is a leading component with 13 billion in total turnover, as a driver for the country’s growth and as an asset for leading banks.
“Wine is culture, and as an ambassador of the beauty of our country it opens the doors of the world to us, because the secret is to conquer all those we have not yet reached. That is why it is very important to continue to invest in this beauty and in this world, and we also have this in common in the DNA of our Bank”, added Lovaglio. “The challenge, are excellence, sustainability, positioning, increasing value and the importance of identity, just like for fashion, which is another excellence of ours. As Giorgio Armani says, elegance is not the ability to be noticed, but to be remembered. And this also applies to wine, which is the celebration of a moment, in which a bottle is uncorked, at the right temperature, poured into the glass and savored, and the taste remains not only in the palate but also in the mind. It is a moment of life, and a beautiful memory. And this is the cultural logic that we need to spread. Made of recognizability, tradition and finally territory, which means putting together the roots, the vines that are a wonderful expression of it, the ability to produce wine that the locals have, the attention to nature, and the birth of a wonderful product. The concert between synergy, value creation and the importance of the territory is fundamental, and the will is to continue a systemic action that is the only one to compete in a market that is very very difficult”.

“Agriculture is an integral part of the history of Monte dei Paschi di Siena and, over more than five centuries, we have accompanied the growth of the sector”, emphasized Maurizio Bai, Chief Commercial Officer Imprese e Private of Banca Mps, which is, at the forefront, to continue to support its development, as also indicated in the guidelines of the 2022-2026 Business Plan, by supporting entrepreneurs in all growth paths that look to sustainability and quality, with “MPS Agroalimentare”. the project, as Bai explained, with which it promotes, through its specialized centers, present throughout the country in the areas with the greatest agricultural vocation (from Asti-Alba to Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, from the Maremma to Montalcino, to Chianti, those of wine, ed.), a new model of interaction with agricultural districts and businesses, capable of responding in a targeted way to the different needs of operators in the sector and the supply chains connected to it in a perspective of dialogue. Centers that aim to guide companies towards growth paths linked to production sustainability and quality, intercepting new EU and national funding opportunities made available by the “Next Generation Eu” program. Offering, in addition, professional advice with a network of specialists, dedicated products including for generational transitions, and financing tools that also draw on Pnrr resources to accompany wineries to strengthen their presence both domestically and internationally. “2021-2022 were exceptional years for Italy’s wine industry, which highlighted how the internationalization process of our companies even in the Covid era worked because they are good at exporting. But also that if in 2021 we exported over 22 million hectoliters with a value of more than 7 billion euros and an average of 3.20 euros/liter, France over 14 with a value of more than 11 billion and an average of 7.58 euros/liter. A trend that continues in 2022, which closed with a new record for Italian wine exports at 8 billion euros (+13%), but which also saw France continue its growth (+12/). The goal is to make the quality of our products perceived in international markets”, Bai analyzed, adding that “PDO and PGI have become a very strong element of quality, as well as of growth and development. And from the dialogue with the Consortia, in Banca Mps instruments have been created to support the development of the wine sector, such as the revolving pledge on PDO and PGI wines, financing to support the aging of wines and for the planting and replanting of vineyards, and long-term agricultural credit for land improvement and generational changeover, alongside supply chain contracts, for which we are among the few banks that can offer this service, and which are fundamental for the PDO Economy and the repopulation of rural areas. In the internationalization process, we have an efficient foreign network, and we have established great collaborative relationships with banks in our exporting countries: in 2022 Italy made between import/export 1 trillion transactions, 55 went through Mps, but the juiciest part is trade finance, which is worth 18 billion, 3 billion brokered by Mps, of which 1.5 are from the agribusiness sector. In the wine sector, future expectations are to make big investments and innovation, and as a bank we have agreements with Sace, Simest and others. This is what we can do by working as a system in the name of a sustainable economy”.
“By working on sustainability, we bring benefits to the economy and to our society”, explained Angelo Riccaboni, chair of the Santa Chiara Lab-University of Siena Steering Committee and coordinator of Spoke 9-Agritech Pnrr, “sustainability along with traceability are the opportunities for the success of agribusinesses, leveraging the innovations available and system building. As is well known, from a sustainability perspective, the costs of not acting are greater than the costs of acting. The big news is that enterprises, which until now have also been part of the problem, are being called upon to contribute and be part of the solution. Why do businesses need to be sustainable? Because consumers and the public, national and international regulators are asking us to do so, in line with EU directives, with sustainability budgets that will be greatly expanded in the coming years even to small companies, because investors and the business-banking world are asking for it, and young people are asking for it, who are going to work only in sustainable companies, because they are needed to manage risk, because supply chain leaders are asking for it, and because sustainability is not a burden but an opportunity. As a university within the Pnrr, a very important measure has allocated substantial resources to Siena to work precisely on sustainability and traceability of agrifood supply chains, in a 3-year project involving 5 supply chains, and among which we have been entrusted with the olive and wine supply chains. We are developing a sustainability measurement system to understand what the gaps are and identify areas for improvement in which to invest in collaboration with banks as well. With the Food Lab, with the Mps Foundation and with a great response from companies, we have, for example, activated a project on precision agriculture, because agriculture is in a moment of epochal change from the point of view of the technologies available, but also to support companies in certification paths. What we need to do, according to Riccaboni, is to promote the “grammar of sustainability”, which right now is the preserve of large companies, which were the first to understand its importance and are able to write its rules. It is to small companies, the backbone of Italy, that we must therefore teach this grammar in order to integrate it into their business management. And talking about sustainability also means talking about traceability: think that currently the error is 100/120 km, but we are defining a methodology to bring it to 10 km by making it clear, for example, in which hill a bottle of wine is produced. Issues on which Siena wants to become a reference point thanks to Pnrr funds and collaboration with Banca Mps. The answers will not be easy because sustainability and traceability that allow businesses to succeed are not”.
Mauro Rosati, managing director of the Qualivita Foundation, reiterated the need to work as a system and strengthen synergies at all levels to overcome other current critical issues in the wine sector as well. In particular, he recalled the problems of “healthy nutrition” labeling, the economic recession and the lack of wine culture in some target markets, stressing that Italy nevertheless has a solid organizational structure in the Geographical Indications sector, a specific set of consolidated skills of operators and the ability of the Consorzi di Tutela to coordinate the development of the entire supply chain composed of many small and medium-sized enterprises, as recounted by the case histories of Wine Tuscany, the Consortia of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Vino Orcia, which have their roots in the same territory as Banca Mps, and which in terms of PDO Economy are worth more than 1 billion euros in production value (out of the Italian total of 11.2 billion euros), with Tuscany the third region in terms of economic value generated by the sector. “And this, as consortiums and companies”, concluded Giovanni Manetti, president of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium, “means that we must not lose sight of the product: first and foremost we must promote our wines, the true attractors of our territories with their successes. Because if the wine is successful it increases the value of the territory, with cascading effects on all the companies, and on the flow of tourism, which is fundamental for us. A chain that must be safeguarded.”

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