Agrindustria is an SME based in Cuneo (Piedmont) which offers particular vegetable products and services, starting from agro-industrial waste.
Agrindustria was created starting from the recognition that several local agricultural and agro-industrial enterprises produced tons of sub-products considered waste and treated as such, representing a cost both for companies and for the environment. The company started reusing local waste to produce new sustainable vegetable products, moving from the agro-industrial sector to other industrial areas of application.
Today, Agrindustria produces several different products, such as food flour, soft vegetable abrasives, bases for cosmetics, supports for the pharmaceutical and animal feed industries, materials and vegetable additives for many other uses. It also offers innovative services for other companies, such as grinding, micronisation, roasting, pre-cooking, drying, and cryogenic grinding. Agrindustria has always been interested in new applications in many different sectors including automotive, clean tech, cosmetics, and animal husbandry. This has also been possible thanks to regional and international policy instruments that allowed the company to invest in sustainable products and process innovation, despite its limited size.
Agrindustria has carried out several research projects at regional and EU level providing benefits for local stakeholders that deliver their by-products to Agrindustria, selling and giving value to something that was previously considered waste and for the territory as a whole thanks to the creation of new jobs.
The main supports given by the ERDF ROP and the MANUNET ERA-Net are non-repayable financing and subsidized financing. Also, the training courses promoted by the Regional Innovation Clusters have provided valuable support to Agrindustria regarding competences and staff training.
Evidence of success
The main result is the development of a local enterprise in the field of Circular Economy. Other relevant sub-results are: the presence of a growing business at a local level, based on environmental sustainability and local cooperation; the creation of new expertise and skills that can enhance the employability of people trained in Agrindustria; the solidity of Agrindustria’s market reputation and business; the implementation of research projects.
Potential for learning or transfer
The main factors that can be transferred depend on the degree of attention addressed to the territory:
- mapping and analysis of local companies and by-products to define the territorial potentials for waste enhancing and possible suppliers for new businesses
- create a network of potential partners within the territory/region environment, taking part in existing organisation such as the Regional Innovation Clusters and participating in the networking events
- be updated on process innovation and new clean technologies that can support the creation of new products and businesses
- expand one’s sustainable business by looking at international level for customers as well as competitors; understand problems and solutions already experienced by other enterprises.