... In the 1939s the Second World War broke out and on June 10, 1940, Italy decided to take part. It is easy to imagine the detrimental effects on Sicilian social fabric. Since many men go to the front, it is up to women, children, and the elderly to work in the fields and do it with fatigue, for them, quarrelsome. Meanwhile, many industrial plants are half-empty or bombarded. In Palermo, 45% of the houses are destroyed or rendered inaccessible by the first French, later Anglo-American and then German Germans. The F.lli Contorno plant is targeted several times by the flying fortresses, and although many bombs spread unexploded, the shed is centered in full, however the machinery undergoes slight damage. Thus, between a thousand difficulties, the production of the Contorno continues, indeed during the conflict it is faced with the considerable increase in the demand for canned preserves. The fact is, that it is very useful to have a long-lasting food reserve in the home, since many of the first-time foods, especially in the city, can be found even on the black market. For Don Antonino Contorno the productive obstacles to face and overcome are enormous; Not at all, the achievements achieved by him were a prestigious honor, sought after by many and assigned to a few meritorious industry, it is the Knight Cross of the Crown of Italy.
... In particular, it is very difficult to obtain as much tomato or blue fish, as well as tinplate and glass bottles, needed to pack the products and fuel for the kettles. In fact, the Palermit food industries are among the largest coal consumers, whose shortage does not meet the pressing demand. Therefore during the war the production of Sicilian preserves grows due to the greater local consumption. However, there is no strong acceleration in the North and Campania, where the enormous and lucrative state orders for military supplies converge. In general, Sicilian food exports plummet from 7,357,000 in 1939 to 250,000 in 1943.
... In the postwar period, Sicilian vegetables are in contradistinction with other sectors, recovering momentum and overcoming pre-production. They benefit the 51 conservatives71. Thanks to the export, which runs swollen sails, the food industry is experiencing a exploit and trains the induced. In short, the food made in Sicily is extremely successful on the tables around the world.
Finally, during 1947, Sicily emerged from the depression. The economic ferment is such that on October 5, 1947, the head of the State inaugurated in Palermo the 1st Fair of the Mediterranean, to which the company Contorno participates for the will and commitment of Gaetano, son of Cav. Antonino encouraging him to do so. The young and promising entrepreneur, in the same year, is among the founding members of the Assindustria-Palermo section, also attends both the Association of Industrial Conservatives of Palermo, ... and the Sicilian Conservieri Vegetali Group, ...