The 2012 Emilia Romagna Earthquake

May 2012: a deep wound in the heart of Emilia Romagna.

The earthquakes on May 20th and 29th devastated the provinces of Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ferrara, and Bologna, leaving a mark on the social and economic fabric of the region.

Ten years later, Emilia Romagna rises with strength and tenacity. Reconstruction has reached 95%, restoring hope and a future to the area:

  • 500 homes have been rebuilt, allowing 27,000 people to return.
  • 570 schools, rebuilt or renovated, ensuring a safe environment for education.
  • Over 1,000 redevelopment projects to revitalize historic centers, preserving cultural heritage.
  • 11,000 businesses have secured their buildings, strengthening the local productive fabric.

Despite these achievements, the road to complete recovery is still long.

However, Emilia Romagna has shown admirable resilience, becoming an example of tenacity and cohesion for all of Italy.

The 2012 earthquake dealt a severe blow to the national economy.

The agri-food sector, particularly the production of the renowned Parmigiano Reggiano, suffered significant damage.

But the resilience of the people of Emilia Romagna prevailed.

With a strong spirit of resurgence, they initiated a process of reconstruction and revitalization that allowed Parmesan Cheese to emerge stronger than ever.

This is the second chapter of our story, a tale of rebirth and hope that speaks to the strength of a united people.

The Numbers of the Earthquake in Emilia Romagna

37 dairies and over 600 farms suffered extensive damage, with 588,000 cheese wheels falling from shelves, resulting in the loss of 800,000 aging positions.

Among these, 144,000 wheels couldn’t even be branded by the Consortium.

Images of this gastronomic heritage on the ground circulated globally, highlighting the severity of the disaster.

The economic damages amounted to over 110 million euros.

Yet, the response was immediate and extraordinary.

Generosity and tenacity allowed for quick recovery.

People who had lost their homes volunteered at dairies to help salvage the fallen wheels.

One cheesemaker even slept in his car to continue working and avoid wasting milk.

The recovery of Parmesan Cheese and Grana Padano became a symbol of Emilia’s rebirth, showcasing the resilient spirit and determination of its people.

The 2012 Emilia Romagna Earthquake

Our response was immediate

Even at ING. Ferretti, with 39 years of uninterrupted productivity and commercial activity, we were not immune to the earthquake’s consequences.

Our founder, Renato Ferretti, perfectly captured the gravity of the moment: “The quake that struck the dairy farms and warehouses of Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano was the toughest moment, especially emotionally.”

Our response was immediate: doubling efforts to tangibly assist long-standing clients and individuals affected.

Right after the quake, we initiated close collaboration with ROSSS for rapid reconstruction of the devastated warehouses.

Earthquakes, inherently unpredictable events, make prevention the only viable defense.

In this realm, ROSSS has excelled for nearly three decades: installing the first seismic systems in Bologna in 1996, followed by others in Umbria the next year.

Since then, the company has made steady progress, investing in research and development to create increasingly secure systems.

In May 2006, ROSSS tested its products at the Seismic Engineering Laboratory of the Polytechnic University of Athens, achieving outstanding results and patenting Italy’s first seismic isolator.

After years of fruitful collaboration with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Florence, ROSSS achieved a true miracle: delivering the first seismic warehouses for the dairy industry in just three months, by the first week of September 2012.

This success story led to the creation of the Tree Cheese racking system, designed for storing Parmesan Cheese, Grana Padano, and Trentingrana.

It features fully bolted joints without welds, characterized by controlled elasticity to safely absorb seismic stresses.

Our partnership with ROSSS, combined with the courage and determination of dairy entrepreneurs from Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, proves that resilience can emerge even from the most challenging situations.

The 2012 Emilia Romagna Earthquake