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Do you want to be FICO? In Bologna you can FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina), the biggest agri-food park in the world, is about to open in Bologna in November by Vincenzo Zagà
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Bologna, FICO. The entrance

FICO Eataly World, the Disneyworld of food promoted by CAAB (the local agri-food center), and run by Eataly World, the new company linking Eataly and Coop, opens on 15th November 2017 and will host the whole range of wonders that make up Italian biodiversity.

As the founder of Eataly and one of the deus ex machina behind the project, Oscar Farinetti, says, “FICO is a simple project: it aims to be the largest place in the world to celebrate Italian agri-food and gastronomy and wine biodiversity. It’s a tribute to the luck of being born on the 2% of the earth’s surface that has a unique microclimate, thanks to its latitude and to the protection of a good sea like the Mediterranean, and the Alpine and Apennine peaks, that enable a biodiversity record. With Eataly we have brought the Italian table to foreigners; with FICO we want the foreigners to come here, to touch and taste our land and its fruits in person. It’s a project that conjugates a sense of duty with pleasure, ethics and fun, culture and carousels”.

In concrete terms, the FICO project will look like an “ark” measuring 80 thousand square meters, worth 130 million euros, where all the delights of the Italian food supply chain that starts life in the fields, (two hectares of vegetable plots and livestock holdings), makes its way through production (with 40 processing plants) and ends up on the decked-out table, will be safeguarded, with 25 options from restaurants, bistros, street food stalls, trattorias, cafés and award-winning eating-places. There will also be 10 classrooms for didactic purposes and 4 thousand square meters of pavilions for cultural and entertainment events.

“The FICO Eataly World agri-food park – underlines Andrea Segrè, from UNIBO, the chairman of CAAB and of the FICO Foundation – is without doubt an outstanding project and an example of how to value a shared legacy by means of an initiative which will provide precious job opportunities and training experiences for tomorrow’s professionals. With the FICO Foundation we want to involve the youngest age group, promoting courses and projects to do with nutrition education, stimulating and interesting initiatives for people who work around food”.

In fact FICO will mean both business and tourism, not only safeguarding and appreciation of tradition and agri-food sustainability: three thousand jobs (of which 700 full employees) in the food supply chain process, with the participation of two thousand companies (more than 40 brands present within the park with their workshops), 2 million foreigners and 4 million Italians expected to attend, including half a million children and students, with expected takings to reach 80 million euros. It’s not surprising that food is the “Made in Italy” product best loved by visitors from all over the world and the most powerful marketing instrument for the promotion of our country, undoubtedly the most beautiful in the world. In the meantime in the “fat and learned” city of Bologna, they are working towards putting on electric shuttle buses to link the rail station with FICO and help the flow of traffic and visitors expected at the Due Torri.

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