ZUCCHERIFICIO DI SARMATO
This sugar mill was established in 1899 by a French company called Compagnie Sucrière de Sarmato. Counting on a cultivation area equal more or less to the entire province of Piacenza, the factory had an initial beet processing capacity of 500 t/d. In 1930 the site was taken over by Società Ligure Lombarda, a renowned Italian manufacturer of sugar but also jams, candies and coffee. Five years later that company merged into Eridania, giving birth to the largest national sugar company. The new Eridania controlled twenty-eight sugar mills and 60% of the Italian sugar market. In the meantime, Sarmato factory was connected to the railway network and, therefore, to the company's central refinery in Genova. In the 1950s the old raw sugar factory was radically transformed into a modern white sugar refinery, with a processing capacity of 2000 t/d. In that period, 500 people were employed (80 permanent and 400 seasonal) and the cultivation area expanded over the nearby Pavia and Alessandria provinces.
A second, intensive transformation took place in late 1970s, along with a national/European process of sugar industry reorganization. Eridania closed down several ancient small factories (Piacenza, Cremona, Fiorenzuola d'Arda, Casalmaggiore, Fontanellato, Parma) and concentrated their whole production in Sarmato, reaching there a record capacity of 10000 t/d. Machineries and limekilns were updated, packaging and storage sections were enlarged and a new pulp pellet plant was established. The factory remained a key-site until the late 1990s, when the reorganization of Eridania led to its definitive closure in 2002.