Il centro di coordinamento per tutti i progetti di sostenibilità



The BCFN team works every day to develop, coordinate and promote projects in the field of food and environmental sustainability.

The team members contribute with their experience, skill and passion, to the design of actions that involve experts, inspire institutions and raise awareness in order to facilitate the emergence of real global change.

Bcfn staff
Anna Ruggerini

Anna Ruggerini

Operations Director

Anna Ruggerini is Operations Director and Member of the Board at the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN). She directs and coordinates a dynamic Foundation based in Parma, Italy.

She is committed in translating evidence based scientific data into effective policy recommendations, communication, tools and events to enable stakeholders to make informed choices on food and the related systems for our health and for the one of the Planet.

Anna previously served as Marketing Manager for European countries and as Group Communication and External Relations Manager being in charge for Corporation equity and events at the Barilla Group. Among others, she gave birth to an Italian private-public alliance promoting healthy food and life-styles for the future generations and in 2014 she established the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation.

Valentina Gasbarri

Valentina Gasbarri

Communication and External Relations Manager

Valentina Gasbarri (33) leads the Communication and External Relations of the BCFN Foundation.

Over the last 7 years, she has been refined by the experience and passion in using the power of people-center communication to strengthen and advance the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and rural development issues. Her experience includes positions, among others, at the World Farmers’ Organization (WFO-OMA), Inter-Press Service (IPS), European Commission – DEVCO B1 in Brussels, UNESCO Beijing, ISN-ETH University in Zurich and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations in NYC, USA.

This diverse and event so dynamic sector led her to design communication strategies, advocacy activities, conceptualize campaigns and explore the potential of multi-stakeholder partnerships to aligning common interests in achieve goals. She holds a MSc in International Relations (University La Statale, Milan) and a post graduate diploma in International Affairs and Diplomatic Studies (SIOI, Rome).

She speaks Italian, English, French and Japanese.

Alessio Mennecozzi

Alessio Mennecozzi

Project Manager

Alessio provides support in the strategic planning of BCFN activities, oversees projects’ development, coordinates the international Fora and other events of the Foundation. His previous experience includes positions at AIRBUS Defence and Space (Paris) and APCO Worldwide (Rome).

He holds a master’s degree cum laude in Institutional and Political Communication at LUISS Guido Carli University and a post graduate diploma in Communication, Public Affairs and External Relations at Sole 24 Ore Business School.

Alessio, based in Parma, joined BCFN in 2015.


Marta Antonelli

Marta Antonelli, PhD

Research Programme Manager

Marta Antonelli (33) leads the Research Programme of the BCFN Foundation.

She brings 9+ years of experience as researcher, lecturer, consultant and journalist in the fields of sustainable food production and consumption, agricultural policy, water governance and environmental footprints. Her experience includes positions, among others, at the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change, University of Roma Tre, University IUAV of Venice and the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology.

Currently she is a Research Fellow of the University of Siena in the Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences.

She holds MSc in International Economics (La Sapienza University of Rome), Development Studies (SOAS, University of London) and a PhD in Geography (King's College London). 

Based in Zurich since 2016, Marta greatly enjoys great outdoors, playing the piano and practicing pilates.

Francesca Allievi

Francesca Allievi, PhD

Researcher and President of the BCFN Alumni Association

Francesca collaborates with the BCFN Foundation on research projects since 2014 and she has been elected as the President of the BCFN Alumni Association in 2016.

Prior to this, she has been working on research projects mostly dealing with sustainability and energy use indicators.
During her PhD studies she has become more familiar with the assessment of food sustainability globally, with a special focus on meat consumption. She has lectured in schools and universities, and given several presentation also targeted at the civil society.

She holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Environmental and Land Planning Engineering both earned at the Politecnico di Milano, and she holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Turku, Finland.”

Katarzina Dembska

Katarzyna Dembska, M.Sc.

Researcher and BCFN YES! Coordinator

Katarzyna collaborates with the BCFN Foundation on research and education projects since 2014.


She has worked as a dietitian in several clinics and therapy centers in Florence, specializing in weight loss and chronic disease management programs for adults and children.


Katarzyna has experience in the field of nutrition education, from holding workshops to promote fruit consumption in schools in Tuscany, to lecturing bachelor students of the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign in Rome.


She holds a B.Sc. in Dietetics and in M.Sc. in Food Science, both earned cum laude at the University of Florence, and is now based in Rome.

Elena Cadel

Elena Cadel, Ph.D.

Researcher - Educational Area Development

Dr. Elena Cadel is a psychologist and an expert in the field of food and sustainability. She received a European PhD at the University of Milano-Bicocca with a dissertation on the psychological aspects of meat consumption. She started her career in the communication field, working for marketing research companies. Today she advises on green lifestyles and sustainable eating and holds seminars and lectures on “food psychology”.

She joined the BarillaCFN foundation in 2014, where she is involved in several projects related to food sustainability and education.

Elena lives in Torino with her husband, loves cooking and traveling. She is fond of Japan, its culture and language and achieved a black belt of Karate.

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