According to Istat data, Italy boasts the most numerous recognized local specialties in the EU, generating turnover of 13 billion euros. Italy can be considered the European Queen for quality products protected by EU recognition:
there are as many as 273 protected designations with PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) marks, thereby setting an historical record for Italy.
The relative figures are also positive. According to Coldiretti estimates based on the Istat report on “PDO, PGI and TSG (Traditional Specialty Guaranteed), quality food products achieve turnover of more than 13 billion euros on consumption in Italy and abroad by the market for these products. Just under half of this total is generated by Parma ham. More specifically, according to the National Statistics Institute, the leading regions for Made in Italy are Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, respectively with 39 and 36 recognized specialties.
In 2013, there were more than 80 thousand certified operators – an increase of 0.3% compared to 2012. Of these, 91.2% focus exclusively on production activities and 6.6% on processing tasks. However, there was a downturn in the number breeding centers of 2%, while the area occupied of 162,154 hectares increased by 1.6%.
Quality products also stimulate the development of areas of Italy at higher altitudes: 27.8% of producers are located in mountain areas, against 17% of mountain farms listed in the previous 2010 census.
Yet Italy’s performance could be by far better: the momentum inherent in these unique products is hindered the so-called Italian Sounding phenomenon, i.e. the use of geographical names, images and logos that evoke the Italy to promote and market products that effectively have no link with Italy at all.
According to Coldiretti, in fact, this phenomenon “in the food sector generates turnover of 60 billion euros, almost double the value of genuine Italian agro-food exports, with a huge impact on cheese and hams, by misleading consumers with names, pictures and colors that recall Italian style without having any link whatsoever with Italian production”.
This article is a repost of PDOs and PGIs: Italy setting records in Europe. Meat sector performing well.