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1836 - 1856

Francesco Cirio - Great ideas for great passion.

Francesco Cirio was born in Nizza Monferrato (Asti) on December 25th 1836.
His father was a humble trader in grain and his exposure to this world had a profound effect on young Francesco.
With his amazing entrepreneurial capabilities, Francesco was already working at the fruit and vegetable market of Porta Palazzo in Torino by the age of fourteen.

A winning concept with Italian Fresh Produce.

At the time the increasing demand for fresh Italian products from markets in London and Paris was not being met. Observing this trend and the opportunity it presented, the young Cirio set up a company trading in fruit and vegetables with the transalpine and British cities and within just a few months he became Italy's most important agricultural exporter in Piemonte.

1856 - 1867

Worldwide succes - Thanks to preservation.

In 1856, at the age of twenty, Francesco Cirio was amongst the first in the world to be credited with developing technique of appertization (the inventor was Frenchman Nicolas Apperti). This method of preservation overcame the problem of exporting fruit and vegetables that was perishable by extending its "shelf life" and gave Cirio the ability to develop its global business, opening the first Cirio factory in Torino, and after the enormous success he achieved with peas, he extended the range to include various other food products, launching a thriving business that was capable of exporting throughout the world.

In 1867 Francesco Cirio presented his first products in Paris at the Exposition Universelle

where he recieved prestigious awards. After this, he began exporting all over the world from Liverpool to Sidney.

1868 - 1900

Entrepreneur, trader, farmer.

Following the unification of Italy, Francesco opened production plants in southern Italy and he personally oversaw the recovery of vast areas of abandoned agricultural land that were prepared for cultivation of produce destined for fresh fruit and vegetables markets, and for his own factories.
On the event of his death on January 9th 1900, the Cirio industry - Società Generale delle Conserve Alimentari - was one of the largest and most prestigious food manufacturers in Europe.

1901 - 1916

A great legacy: from Francesco Cirio to the Signorini family.

Pietro Signorini, a partner in the company, took over from founder in guiding the firm into the future and building on Francesco's legacy. Thanks to him, the company put down solid roots in the area around Naples, building new factories for preserving tomatoes, fruit and other vegetables.
Following his early death in 1916, management of the company passed to his brother Paolo
who continued his work with the same commitment and dedication, managing to develop and consolidate the image of a leading company, capable of affirming Italian agricultural and foodstuff values throughout the world.

1970 - 1993

Just as nature made it, Cirio Preserves.

The work of the Signorini family continued successfully until 1970, when the company was sold to SME and in 1993 it was privatised.

1993 - 2004

Cirio joins the SME group

These are the years of advertising investments, TV commercials and press campaigns that have made the brand unforgettable in the minds of Italian consumers.
Watch AUTHENTIC ITALIAN historical commercials

2004 - 2015


In 2004, after changing fortunes, Cirio passed into the hands of GRUPPO COOPERATIVO CONSERVE ITALIA, a European leader in the food preservation industry. In many ways, this signalled a return to the origins of Francesco Cirio's passion for agriculture and his extraordinary commitment to innovation and agricultural and industrial research.

At the same time, it is a move towards a future based on capability and entrepreneurial success, without ever forgetting the social commitment towards the producers and the consumers, who are still offered the

best guarantee of natural products that are respected and responsibly safeguarded.

© 2022 Conserve Italia Soc. coop. agricola - Sede Legale: via Paolo Poggi 11 - 40068 San Lazzaro di Savena (BO) - C.F. 02858450584 - P.I. 00708311204 - Num. Iscr. Registro imprese di Bologna : 02858450584 - Credits