Ferrero Alba: the story of a loving bond between the company and the city
When I’m around the world and they ask me where I’m from I always say, Italy, Piedmont, Alba…Nutella!!! It is enough to say Ferrero Alba or the Nutella Factory and everyone goes crazy with envy. They start asking if we eat Nutella every day if they let people taste it around, if we taste new products before the rest of the world, and so on …
Ferrero Alba is known by everyone all over the world. The Ferrero headquarters still stands today where it was born, although of course now it has expanded a lot.
The Ferrero factory was born in the 1940s from a pastry shop owned by Piera Cillario and Pietro Ferrero! After the company’s success in Italy, their son, Michele Ferrero, decided to start producing and marketing its products abroad as well by opening other Ferrero factories.
Ferrero was a solid, local alternative to Fiat’s assembly lines in Turin, helping to stem the depopulation of the Alba countryside. What ties Ferrero company to the local area is the great sense of respect for employees and the sharing of success with the local community. Ferrero Italy was just the beginning!
Memories of a Ferrero Alba employee
Let me tell you about an episode that my great-grandmother often tells me. I only make a small introduction… My great-grandmother turns 99 this year!
She always tells me how much she enjoyed working in the Ferrero company.
She was a farmer in the Langa before moving to the city. Everything was new to her at Ferrero, but the challenges never scared her. With two small daughters to raise she worked shifts without problems because she enjoyed going to work.
She told me about the production of the first Mon Chéri. One day she found herself working in the new production department of the future Mon Chéri. During their production, everyone kept tasting them. In those days it was customary to taste new products so that we could figure out what to improve in or what ingredients to change.
My grandmother told me smilingly, “That time, when my shift was over, we couldn’t complete the platform we were supposed to do as scheduled.
At a good time, Mr. Michele arrived to taste the new Mon Chéri. He asked why we had produced so few. Our colleagues looked at each other, laughing under our breath, looking for an excuse… At that point, Michele realized that we had eaten quite a few, and instead of scolding us, he said, “Well if you liked them so much, let’s continue the production,” and left smiling. We also went home smiling because we were pretty tipsy.”
Ferrero Rocher Alba and other Ferrero products
I mentioned Mon Cheri but I think some products are so famous that they have become a name that lives on in the world. The Rochers, the Tic Tacs, the Kinder egg. Sure, you can also name them Ferrero Rocher but in most countries, they are the Rocher chocolates. Elegant, unmistakable, and … much imitated!
I could tell you many more episodes like these to make you understand that even then there was a pleasant working environment and the employee played a key role.
If you ask about Ferrero in Alba, everyone has a memory to tell. Ferrero in Alba is well-being, solidity, and the scent of chocolate that floods the streets!
“Ferrero Spa Alba is now firmly ranked among the top companies in the world for its reputation. This is also due to its important social responsibility initiatives. Ferrero pays constant attention to the lives of its employees and former employees and to the people in the communities where it operates. This commitment is also demonstrated through the activities of the Ferrero Foundation and Kinder Joy Of Moving.”
Ferrero and social welfare
Now as then, Ferrero employees have many benefits including free bus to work, free daycare for their children, recreational activities, trips, reduced admissions to the gym, reduced price purchase of products at the Ferrero store, and so on.
I would say these are important benefits that make a healthy work environment.
What do you think?
The Ferrero plant in Alba is unfortunately not open for visits, but the Ferrero company is very much involved in enhancing the cultural heritage of Alba and Piedmont. And the Ferrero group is now an overbearing and important presence in many countries around the world. Ferrero chocolate and others have established themselves as serious, important, reliable, and … enviable!
Art exhibitions ranging from the 15th century to the contemporary age are often held in the Ferrero Foundation, a short walk from the plant. The Foundation has a Documentation Center open to researchers, students, and enthusiasts. It also provides every year, scholarships to children of Ferrero employees, supporting scientific research and PhDs.
That is why people around the world feel envy when I say I am from Alba!
Now, do you understand?
Here every day our nose smells different scents between chocolate, mint, tea, and coffee…
Visit us in Alba and you will walk with your nose up!