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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Agro- food exports: € 41 billion (+ 6.5%) in 2017

Coldiretti presents "True Italian Taste" for the promotion of an authentic made in Italy agro-food

At the national level, agri-food exports touched for the first time the € 41 billion in 2017, with a significant increase of 7% compared to the last year (Coldiretti elaboration from annual projections of Istat data about November’s foreign trade ).Nearly two-thirds of agri-food exports affect the countries of the European Union, where there is a 5% increase, even if with different trends: in Germany food exports remained more or less stable (+ 1%), in France there was a jump of 7% while in Great Britain there was a + 2%. The United States, with an increase of 6%, is by far the main market of our food outside the borders of the Union and the third in general terms after Germany and France and before Great Britain.

The growth of exports to North America is determined by specific sectors such as the "transformation of vegetables" (+ 18.1%), "confectionery " (+ 17.3%) and the "spirits and liqueurs" sector (+ 12.8%). The interesting push of a mature market such as France is largely due to the performance of the "dairy" (+ 15.4%) and "confectionery" (+ 17.3%). As for Asian markets, it is China with an increase of 17% to record a real opportunity exploit for the Made in Italy at the table, together with Japan (+ 39%).

At the top of the ranking of the most fake products (Assocamerestero survey) there are the cheeses with denomination of origin PDO starting from Parmigiano Reggiano and from Grana Padano, but also Provolone, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, Asiago or Fontina. Then there are the most prestigious cured meats from Parma to San Daniele followed by pastas, sauces, baked goods, oils, wines and biscuits.

Assocamerestero - the association of the 78 Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad (Ccie), Italian and foreign business subjects, and Unioncamere - presented the first results of the activity carried out on the "True Italian Taste" project, almost two years after the start. The initiative is part of the "Strategic promotion campaign for the valorisation of Italian products in relation to the Italian Sounding phenomenon", promoted and financed by the Ministry of Economic Development in collaboration with Ice Agency and is carried out by Assocamerestero with the support of the Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad. "True Italian Taste" (www.trueitaliantaste.com) aims to expand the spread and knowledge of authentic Italian food products, with the aim of helping the foreign consumer to distinguish them from those "Italian Sounding", trying to promote an increasingly better positioning of our food and wine companies, which today are increasingly hit by the phenomenon of international "agro-piracy" that invests over 60 billion euros.

More in detail, the Campaign started in 2016 on nine squares in the US, Canada and Mexico with the Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Mexico City, which have been added since 2017, 12 European squares with the Ccie of Barcelona, Madrid, London, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Lyon, Marseilles, Nice and Zurich.

The overall numbers of these first 18 months of the Project are important and positive: up to now, 1,500 B2B meetings have been organized on the Italian territory with 600 Italian companies and over 65 foreign buyers selected by the Ccie; 3,000 influencers and over 450,000 "foodies" - enthusiasts and food experts - were involved in 90 events in foreign countries. The Project also placed a strong emphasis on the training of sales staff, chefs and foreign agri-food operators with master classes that collected almost 900 participants. To support the initiative, a web app dedicated to the Oil Evo, 100% Made in Italy, was also created on the website www.trueitaliantaste.com.

The recipients of the actions were mainly the importers of Italian food products, distributors abroad, the owners of Italian restaurants abroad of the network "Ospitalità Italiana", the purchasing managers of hotel chains and specialized shops in the areas of reference, the main chefs and food bloggers from different countries, as well as industry journalists, nutritionists and food testimonials. In 2018 the project will include other 90 events in squares and 15 master classes abroad, as well as 5 incoming businesses and 2 Educational for influencers in Italy. Furthermore, this year the project will also open to Asia with the CCIE of China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Within the "True Italian Taste" project, our certified agri-food products are particularly valued, increasingly sought after for their excellence, appreciated all over the world. Italy can count on 818 Geographical Indications registered at European level, almost 15 billion of value for production, which translates into 8.4 billion of export value. These products are now worth 11% of the food industry and 28% of national agri-food exports (in 2015 it was 21%).

"The true Italian taste takes place today in the 18 main destinations of our agri-food exports, involving 21 Italian chambers of commerce abroad" - commented Gaetano Fausto Esposito, general secretary of Assocamerestero. - "For our network, it is an important challenge to connect the business community that we already connect with the gourmets who now represents the world to raise awareness so that the message passes and translates into greater consumption choices of real Italian food and wine. The multi-year experience of the Chambers abroad in this strategic sector of our Made in Italy and the continuous presence of foreign territories are the advantages we offer to SMEs and make us a strategic partner for export ".

Assocamerestero is the association that brings together the 78 Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad (Ccie), present in 54 countries in the world and Unioncamere. The Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad are private , foreign and market associations made up of Italian and foreign operators and professionals, recognized by the Italian Government and rooted in the countries with the greatest Italian presence in the world. Through 140 spread offices in 54 markets, the 78ccie Network carries out strategic actions to support the internationalization of SMEs, the promotion of Made in Italy and the enhancement of the Italian business community in the world.

lma - 2027

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