The investments that the wood and furniture industry made during the period following the worst moment of the recession, which saw a dramatic fall in turnover and companies in the Triveneto region, are beginning to bear fruit. Indeed, the Friuli Venezia Giulia area is showing the first signs of a turnaround.
“Our sector is complex and affected by global factors: it takes 4-5 years of strong business commitment before we can see results.” This is the view of Carlo Piemonte, director of Cluster Arredo and Sistema Casa FVG, regarding the figures for 2015, which indicate a 7.5% increase in the combined turnover of a sample of 130 companies in Friuli. Friuli Venezia Giulia’s wood and furniture industry is therefore a successful model, which accounts for 13.3% of Italian exports in the sector, behind only Lombardy and Veneto. According to the Observatory sponsored by Cluster, the main foreign importers of Friulian furniture are the UK (22.1%), Germany (17.3%), France (13.2%) and the US (6.3%).
The companies analyzed have redistributed 990 million euro of revenue among their workers and related industries. They have done so “by standing up on their own two feet”, Piemonte emphasizes, reminding us that financial charges only amounted to 0.9% of total revenues, with 0.2% of public contributions. Key words like collaboration and synergy are behind the success of this model, explains Cluster’s president Franco di Fonzo. The businessmen at the center of this upturn are also convinced of this: “Today you no longer have to face industry challenges alone. It is essential that companies work as a network,” remarks Edi Snaidero. “The Friulian motto ‘fasin di besoi’ (do it yourself) no longer works,” agrees Pierluigi Zamò, head of Ilcam. “Cluster Arredo allows companies to work as a team”, comments Maurizio Piovesana of Mobilificio San Giacomo Spa. But expectations are still high, according to Paolo Fantoni: “Today’s data, though positive, does not do justice to the effort that has been made.”