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THE ESSENCE OF MARKETING: INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA SEGRE’, PRESIDENT OF THE FICO FOUNDATION.

THE ESSENCE OF MARKETING: INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA SEGRE’, PRESIDENT OF THE FICO FOUNDATION.

THE ESSENCE OF MARKETING: INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA SEGRE’, PRESIDENT OF THE FICO FOUNDATION.

Today we’d like to share with you an extract of the interview we conducted with Andrea Segre’ during the occasion of the Philip Kotler Marketing Forum. Andrea Segre’ is a Professor of International and Comparative Agricultural Policy at the University of Bologna, currently teaching Circular Economics at the University of Trento. He is also president of the Edmund Mach foundation in San Michele all’ Adige, of the FICO foundation and of the Agricultural and Culinary centre of Bologna.

THE ESSENCE OF MARKETING: HOW THE CITADEL OF FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY WAS BORN.

We asked professor Segre’ which view of social development does the FICO foundation subscribe to, in a market which is increasingly focused on the individual, and he answered that, ‘When we started with the FICO idea, its working title was actually “Citadel of Food and Sustainability”. Then, when Farinetti joined the project, we changed it to FICO (translator’s note: this anagram sounds very similar to the Italian word for “cool”) …from all points of view, I have to say it was a really strong marketing idea, which quickly gained much traction. An extremely “substantial” project, at the basis of which was the desire to develop culinary education, the attitude towards sustainability especially in young kids, in the adults of tomorrow. We decided to regenerate this platform by providing it with a cultural, scientific and educational aim, supported by a commercial operation which would have guaranteed the whole investment. We managed to bring together the market, consumers, sales and marketing with another part devoted to the culture of food, and we found out that this combination seems to work very well.’

THE ESSENCE OF MARKETING: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UNIVERSITIES AND THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD.

We then asked Andrea Segre’ what could be the role of universities in the growth of companies, outside of a more institutional capacity. The professor told us that the idea of FICO ‘originated from universities: the idea of a food theme park, a place to show how the food comes from the field to your table. I have always believed that universities, just like companies, have a social responsibility. They should give back to the territory in equal measure what the territory gives to them, through investment and research resources.’ Concepts which the professor surely teaches his students… ‘the kids who come to my classes are 20 years old, so this year in my course I am using forecasts up to the year 2050, what will the world population be, we will all have to eat something, how many nutritional resources will we have and upstream, how many natural resources, the soil, water, energy. When they look at me and say, “well, you might no longer be there in 2050…” , I think about my age and I say, “If I eat well, I exercise enough, I hope to still be around to see, but you have to take part now, study and also involve yourselves in decisions which will really impact your future”.’

THE ESSENCE OF MARKETING: ALLOCATING VALUE TO THE RIGHT THINGS.

To conclude, we asked Segre’ what his essence was, that thing which represents him the most, and he replied that it is precisely ‘the word itself, in its declination…the essentiality. That is to say, allocating value to the right things, maybe even less things, therefore not accumulating useless things, goods, wares, but only that which you really need, which really has value for you. So, essence, around which your company is working, is indeed the key word of the future: not in a negative way, as in sobriety, fasting…that’s not what it means. Instead, it is a positive term indeed, looking towards the future of the right things. Then, it is not for us to choose what these things are, so…I still don’t know which one is the right Acqua dell’Elba essence for me, but I’m sure I will find it!’. As we are sure we will help him find it!

As usual, you will find the full interview on our YouTube channel, where we are collecting all of the interviews we conducted during the occasion of the Philip Kotler Marketing Forum in a single playlist.


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