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.
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.
where he recieved prestigious awards. After this, he began exporting all over the world from Liverpool to Sidney.
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.
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.
The work of the Signorini family continued successfully until 1970, when the company was sold to SME and in 1993 it was privatised.
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
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.
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