5. Further factors related to sectoral structur

The previous chapter dealt with factors related to sectoral structure in the production system of Treviso, based on a research which was conducted on a national level, thus considering elements relevant to that context. However, there are other factors not listed in the cited research, but present in the province of Treviso, for their uniqueness or their high level of specialization within wider sectors. Such factors are even more relevant to the attractiveness of the province of Treviso due to their exclusiveness.

First of all, furniture, bunched up together with wood processing in the industrial “meta-cluster” [1] which includes both the so called “Sinistra Piave” (the area on the left side of Piave river) in the province of Treviso and the area near the Livenza river in the province of Pordenone: this sector, in spite of its third place in the national ranking (as pointed out in the research), is first in Italy, with 3,794 local units and 43,221 employees. This industrial cluster is still little known, unlike some other smaller clusters, due to the fact that it is not considered in its entirety but divided into the two provinces instead. In fact, synergies within the whole area of the “meta-cluster” have no barriers, and the relationships among enterprises from both the provinces are frequent and dynamic. An example can be found in the vocational school offering technical training in this sector, which is located in the town of Brugnera (in the province of Pordenone, but bordering the province of Treviso) and attracts students coming from either Treviso and Pordenone, who are afterwards employed in enterprises of either a province or the other.

Another unique sector in the province of Treviso, due to its specialization, is that of sports footwear, located in the area surrounding the town of Montebelluna and including a number of other municipalities. With the course of time, the relevant industrial cluster developed additional products, so that now it is called the “sport-system” cluster and includes sportswear and sports accessories.

This sector couldn’t be considered in the above cited research, due to its specificity, but it’s a unique sector in Italy, and a unique cluster in the world. As a matter of fact, no other area in the world can boast such a high concentration of enterprises involved in the production of sports footwear and related accessories within such a wide region: 437 local units, 4,457 employees and a total value added of € 196 million. This industrial cluster competes with the major multinational companies of the sector and is classified “good quality” as for competitiveness, and obviously destined for advanced countries. Even so, products from this cluster are establishing themselves also in “poorer” markets, thanks to wise politics of outsourcing, applied only to processing stages of less added value: in this way, the crucial legacy of innovation and knowledge remains within the cluster.

Also the third industrial cluster we’re dealing with is very specialised and therefore it can’t be compared with other entities in Italy: it is the so called “Inox Valley”, an industrial cluster devoted to stainless steel machining. It is located in an area comprising Conegliano and some neighbouring municipalities, and includes approximately 600 local units and 14,000 employees for a produced value added of about € 300 million [2].

Different products originate from this industrial cluster: household appliances, machinery, electrical machines and devices, catering equipment, etc. Diversified production causes market prospects to be more uncertain, but highlights this sector’s enormous potential, precisely due to diverse market opportunities.

Our last specialized sector in the province is related to wine production, comprising several DOC wines (Denominazione di Origine Controllata is the Italian quality assurance – or appellation – for food and wines). The research presented in the previous chapter refers more generally to the food sector, in which the province of Treviso gets a good placing anyway. Still, Treviso might distinguish itself even more, thanks to its DOC production, compared to the other DOC areas in Italy, however numerous. That’s why an in-depth analysis on a national level on companies, employees and value added of the DOC wines sector would be appropriate.

More specifically, it is only possible to give some details on the main wine production of the province of Treviso, the Prosecco, whose cluster is located in the area between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. This cluster comprises 4,759 farms operating in the vine growing, which cultivate a total land of 6,220 hectares, while companies producing wine are 77 with a total of 600 employees. The trade of Prosecco is widespread in Italy and also abroad, but as a quality agricultural product it can’t be increased more than established by law. Therefore, the cluster’s development should be addressed toward a territorial development giving due value also to other agricultural and handicraft products, and services (above all tourism).


[1] – Translator’s Note] A meta-cluster is an industrial cluster developed on various provinces, within the region’s territory

[2] These are estimated figures, since the metalworking sector is so wide that it is difficult to single out only the companies involved in stainless steel processing