Fresh pasta and sauces maker Pastificio Rana has signed a development agreement with the Italian Ministry of Business and Made in Italy worth around €10m ($10.8m).

Part of the fund is being supported by €9.6m of “non-repayable benefits”, the ministry said, with the Piedmont region granting €350,000 towards the venture.

This sum will be added to the group’s already existing €78m investment package, which is being allocated to its factories in the Piedmont, Lombardy and Veneto regions between 2022 and 2025, according to the Rana group.

Distribution of the ministry’s fund will be managed by the Italian Development Agency, Invitalia.

In a statement, the ministry said the money would help to increase the group’s overall production capacity through the “implementation of an industrial development programme”.

This latest investment will also involve moving Rana’s ready meals production away from Nivelles in Belgium to its Moretta factory in Piedmont. The business took over Nestlé’s Buitoni pasta plant in Moretta in 2018.

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By GlobalData

Rana is also set to expand its facilities in Gaggiano in Milan and San Giovanni Lupatoto in Veneto.

The company confirmed to Just Food the Nivelles plant would remain operational, focusing solely on private-label goods.

Some 1,600 people work for Rana in Italy, the ministry said, which could increase by an additional 96 people following the agreement. It is unclear whether these new employees will be distributed across Rana’s plants in Moretta, Gaggiano and San Giovanni Lupatoto.  

Rana’s total workforce has doubled over the past decade, the group said, sitting at over 3,000 people.

The ministry also intends to help Rana bolster its position in its international markets.

Rana has eight factories across Europe and the US, and markets in 52 countries worldwide, according to the ministry.

The company’s portfolio includes a range of fresh, filled pasta, gnocchi, sauces, fresh pasta, and ready meals.

Pastificio Rana was founded in 1962 in San Giovanni Lupatoto, Italy, by Giovanni Rana. Rana’s son, Gian Luca Rana, is now the group’s CEO, having worked at the company since 1989.

Commenting on the news in a statement, Gian Luca Rana said: “This renewed commitment underscores our intention to make our Italian production plants centres of excellence for technological innovation, research, and development.

“Our roots are firmly planted in Italy and we acknowledge the responsibility of continuing our family’s entrepreneurial legacy, aiming to have a positive impact on the territory, production chains, and local communities.”