Awards of merit in the work field

by Roberto Pagliari

In terms of significance, we must put the awards of “Merit in the work field” in first place. These reward the recipient of the recognition award not only for a specific business activity, but also for its ethical and social commitment.
The granting of these honors is configured as a duty of the Italian State as the supreme expression and interpretation of collective thought and the will of society to reward some citizens for their unique merits and to point them out as outstanding in the eye of public opinion.
Both Riccardo (November 16, 1939), Pietro (May 31, 1968), and Guido Barilla (October 22, 2019) achieved this significant recognition on behalf of Barilla. What unites them is the industrial development of the Company which strengthened the bonding relationship of the founding family whose following generations have taken on the task of continuing the business and enlarging both the Company and the fame of the name of the family itself.
The life history of Riccardo Barilla (1880-1947) confirms how this historical figure changed his status by establishing himself as an entrepreneur. After starting out as a very young apprentice helping his father Pietro, he took over the guidance of the company from 1912 with his brother Gualtiero, who died in 1919, and then continued alone, with the help of his wife Virginia.
Although he grew up in an environment of craftsmen, Riccardo was very open to technological innovations, which at that time were developed particularly in Germany, as he considered them a necessary asset for the development of the company.
On September 15, 1925, Riccardo Barilla also received the appointment as Knight of the Order of Saint Sylvester signed by Pope Pius XI. On April 28, 1926, Pius XI also conferred on him the title of Pontifical Supplier with a diploma he sent from the Sacred Apostolic Palaces, which granted him the right to wear the papal coat of arms.

Continuing in the family tradition, Pietro Barilla (1913-1993) played a leading role in modernized production. Guiding the Company together with his brother Gianni since 1947, Pietro introduced new management criteria and in the 1960s transformed the Company into a joint stock company, giving it a managerial and modern structure, culminating in the construction of the largest pasta factory in the world in Pedrignano (Parma) in 1968.
Once he returned to the leadership of the family business after the American period (1971-1979), Pietro Barilla received three extraordinary awards in recognition of the activity he carried out with great success: the “Alcide De Gasperi” award in 1986 for constant research of quality, the Honoris Causa Degree in Economics and Commerce conferred on him by the University of Bologna on September 26, 1987 and the “Guglielmo Tagliacarne” Award for marketing, on November 19, 1990.
The Degree was motivated as follows: “In recognition of a profuse commitment to open new horizons, new perspectives in a sector of great economic and social importance, such as that of food”.

The “Guglielmo Tagliacarne” award was instead conferred with the following motivation: “Quality and image are the elements that have led Pietro Barilla, Chairman of Barilla S.p.A, to stand out in the field of Italian entrepreneurship, also for systematic study, constant communication with consumers and the good care of this specific business culture”.
The recognition of Knight of Work to Guido Barilla (1958-) can be placed in the context of family ties, as together with the brothers Luca and Paolo, he was able to develop the Company beyond national borders starting from 16 September 1993, and leading it to be the number one pasta producer in the world.
In 2018 Guido Barilla was awarded the AIDAF Italian Family Business Award for achieving a positive economic trend in the last three years, consolidating the Company on international markets, and for the presence of valid governance systems of the Company as well as for activating social responsibility programs.