Parma Ham from Canada? Italy says no to defend real made in Italy products
This week TuttoFood, one of the most important international shows dedicated to Made in Italy products took place in Milan. It has been the perfect occasion to take a stock of the Italian food industry situation…
Italian Sounding, one of the highest growing
business in the US food scenario
Within the European Union, Made in Italy products historically linked to a particular region are categorised as "geographical origin" products. And they are fiercely protected inside of the bloc. The sale of generic parmesan, for instance, is banned in Europe. Other Italian products with European protection include the ham called Prosciutto di Parma, the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and the Genoese Pesto.
But in the many places where European rules don't apply, it is easy to find fake Italian products: products with Italian name, pictures and flag and wording such as “traditional”, “classic” and “Made in Italy” that, except for the name and the evocative power, have little to do with Italy.
As explained during a conference held at the TuttoFood exhibition, two in three Italian products sold in the United States are actually produced abroad. Coldiretti, the leading association of Italian farmers, pointed out that over the last ten years the “Italian Sounding” revenue grew by the 70% for an estimated value of $100 billions.
Another threat to the authentic
Italian Delicacies in the US
Italian Sounding isn’t however the only threat to Made in Italy products in the US. In fact, the new Trump’s import tariffs might target the agricultural and food sector, where the country has a high deficit, and is a highly important sector for Italy on that market.
Italy made of commerce and of the popularity of its excellences in the world the spearhead of its financial recovery, with the US representing the third larger importer of Italian goods among all nations; on their side, Americans buy from Italians with pleasure, and made of the peninsula their eighth most important import market.
The import tariffs and the “black list” could attack some of the most famous Made in Italy products, such as Italian wines, Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. If they were to come into force, the damage to Italian economy can be estimated to $11 billions. Moreover, Italian producers would be forced to increase their prices, thus making fake products even more appealing.
Why Authentic Italian Food must be preserved?
Luckily, the number of fake Made in Italy products is not the unique one to grow. In 2018, indeed, Italy reached the record number of exportations for a value of more than $40 billions. This latter figure represents an increase of 50% relative to the 2008!
The Italian Food Industry is responsible for the 12 percent of the Italian GDP and, in a period of economic crisis, it is the sector that grows faster and better, representing an example for all the other countries and the other Italian industries.
The reasons behind its success? The unique agricultural supply chain. A short supply chain means longlasting and transparent commitment between the producer and the industry. It also means bringing real Made in Italy products worldwide and opposing whoever try to exploit the Italian Sounding.
What can I do to help the Italian producers?
If you are an Italian Food lovers and are persuaded that things cannot be like this, you can act in first person to help Italian small producers. Want to know how?
First of all, always carefully check the label of the products you’re buying. Italian laws are a bit different from the American ones for what concerns label indications. If a label clearly states that the product you want to buy has been produced in Italy, you can’t have any doubt. If it says nothing about the country of origin, there are good chances you’re buying a fake Made in Italy products.
If you think that label and price can be misleading and one can come across products that are expensive and mediocre, too, you can then opt for a Food Box Delivery straight from Italy: EatTiamo offers a wide range of Food Box with Made in Italy products carefully selected from a network of trusted artisanal producers.