Parma’s strong industrial and artisan roots can be seen in the position manufacturing occupies in terms of the province’s added value: over 28%, a percentage 10.4% higher than the national average. The food industry is the jewel in the crown of Parma’s economy, with a turnover of 7,600 million Euros, generated by 1,200 companies with 14,500 employees. A number of closely-linked agricultural and industrial businesses have given rise to a fully-fledged supply chain in the area. Raw materials are transformed into end products thanks to the outstanding knowhow of several large industries, which work alongside experienced artisans in small and medium-size enterprises.
Known as the Food Valley, the Province of Parma is inextricably linked to its produce: cheeses, cured meats, vegetable preserves, and wines – all products of a generous land, and of the modernisation of a rich and authentic tradition. Its thousand-year-old history has consolidated well-established processes, which modern technology has preserved without radically altering; in doing so, it has successfully overcome the challenge of ensuring the quality of its produce remains high. In fact, Parma is the top Italian province by value of protected designation food products with European status, guaranteeing the origin and characteristics of the products.
One knock-on effect of these quality food products is the development of a plant engineering industry which specialises in designing and manufacturing machinery and complete plants for the food processing sector. It is a sector at the top of the regional and national league table for turnover and exports: over 600 companies employ almost 9,000 staff members, with a turnover of around 2,200 million Euros, more than 50% of which is exported.
Overall, the agro-food sector contributes to more than 52% of the industry’s turnover and records excellent performance on the export front.
|Number of companies||1,210|
|- meat processing and meat-based products||482|
|- dairy and cheese industry||268|
|- pasta, bakery products||366|
|- other food industries||94|
|Turnover (Euro millions)||7,600|
|Exports (Euro millions)||1,399|
Source: Unione Parmense Industriali
|Number of companies||637|
|Turnover (Euro millions)||2,200|
|Exports (Euro millions)||1,249|
|Total number agro-food industry companies||1,847|
|Total number agro-food industry employees||23,033|