Stone World

Italian Tile Manufacturers recovering after earthquakes

July 2, 2012
This past May, there were two strong earthquakes in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy that left several dead and thousands homeless. Ceramica Sant’Agostino, an Italian ceramic tile manufacturer, was among those who had suffered a terrible loss. Two of the company’s workers, Nicholas Cavicchi and Leonardo Ansaloni, died in the Sant’Agostino factory when the building collapsed. In addition, the company’s automated warehouse and monocottura production facility were left damaged.

Ceramica Sant’Agostino is a third-generation business, which was set up in 1964 in the Province of Ferrara in the Emilia-Romagna region (about 22 miles north of Bologna). It has been 800 years since an earthquake of this magnitude has affected the region.

Shortly after the earthquake, Sant’Agostino received a visit from the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, who promised to help small-scale businesses in the region, especially factories and farms. The government has approved temporary tax relief to owners of property damaged from the earthquake, and $64 million in emergency funds have been made available for use by the national Civil Protection Agency to provide quake assistance.

In the weeks following the earthquakes, the Italian ceramic tile industry has begun to show significant signs of recovery. Fortunately, most of the factories were located far from the impacted area and are continuing to conduct business as usual with their clients worldwide.

A few of the ceramic tile manufacturers located between Camposanto and Finale Emilia, including Marazzi, Atlas Concorde, ABK, Panaria Group and Moma, temporarily suspended production after the second earthquake but were able to avoid major damage. Meanwhile, Ceramica Sant’Agostino has successfully delivered its most recent orders and remains hopeful to return to its former production rate as soon as possible.