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  Paolo Barilla
and his brothers Luca and Guido are the fourth generation to head the Barilla family company.
regarding vegetable pasta form a huge step for the Barilla Group on its mission to produce food while respecting the people and the planet.
“Quality is not only a question of taste but also of meet- ing people’s needs,” says Barilla in explaining his company’s philosophy. After the Second World War, the priority was on providing the population with as many calories as possible. Attention later shifted to offering more balanced nutrition. In the 1980s, the company turned its attention to the issue of product safety. The following decade saw an ever greater focus on nutrients. And today environmental issues play a role. “We want to make products that are good for people as well as the planet,” says this very courteous and charming Italian. His seriousness of purpose is immediately evident as he demonstrates how the carbon footprint of a meat-based meal is nearly three times as great as that of a vegan meal and requires almost twice as much water.
“I’m an epicurean—but my pleasure should not come at the expense of our environment,” says Barilla calmly. And his focus thereby is on the environment. Working together with scientists, he is trying to find ways to make pleasure sustain- able. With the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, the com- pany has not only created an independent think tank for food sustainability but also committed itself to using the resulting knowledge. “We have to listen to the scientists,” says Bari- lla. The company has already had to change its course as a consequence. “We gave up one of the best durum wheats we had ever procured. But producing it in an extremely dry part of Arizona simply required too much energy and water.” Barilla complied with the recommendation of his advisory commit- tee to no longer use the wheat. That was in keeping with the ideas of the founder, who had wanted his company to be a force for good. This also means doing the right thing, even when no one knows about it.
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