Assocamerestero - the association that gathers 78 Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad (Camere di Commercio Italiane all´Estero - Ccie), Private, Foreign, and Market business subjects in Unioncamere - in cooperation with the 9 ICCA of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Mexico City, as well as CCIAA of Foggia, is promoting two new initiatives to enhance and safeguard the Italian agri-food sector abroad.
The promotion of authentic Made in Italy agri-food products was again at the centre of the debate during the meetings at Assocamereestero, scheduled in Foggia. The programme included over 270 B2B meetings dedicated to the agri-food sector, with the direct participation of 48 companies producing certified raw materials and processed products belonging to the area of Capitanata in Puglia and 16 buyers from Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Mexico City. More specifically, these companies are specialized in the production of olive oil and table olives, wine, coffee, baked products, preserves, organic seasonings. The meetings were aimed at facilitating the entry of authentic Italian and certified products in the North American market and consolidating the position of those already present, also by educating consumers to well-informed purchase of 100% Made in Italy food.
The initiatives, organized by Assocamerestero in cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce in Foggia, insert themselves into the wider context of the Ministerial Project of ‘Enhancement and promotion of authentic Italian agri-food products’, sponsored and funded by the Ministry of Economic Development and realised in the framework of the extraordinary plan of internationalization of Made in Italy, developed with the Ministry of agriculture, food and forestry policies. In the framework of this programme, the Network of CCIE implemented both activities and interventions, aimed at the same time to both promotion and enhancement of authentic Italian products, with particular reference to PDO-PGI products, and consolidation of the presence of Italian quality products on ‘focus’ markets (USA, Canada, and Mexico), through targeted actions on the operators of foreign specialized distribution as well as Italian SMEs of the agri-food sector.
The agri-food sector accounts for 7.3% of Italian exports, with an increase by 3.5% on an annual basis in the first eight months of 2016, for a trade surplus of 1.2 billion Euros. In addition, the decision to contextualize the two initiatives in Foggia, in Puglia, is also understood in the light of the strategic importance that the agri-food export has for the Region. Puglia is in third place among the regions of Southern Italy for the absolute value of foreign sales, equal to 3.8 billion Euros with reference to the first half of 2016.
The products that are mainly sold abroad resulted to be processed and preserved fruit and vegetables (with a share of 23.1% on the export concerning this sector and a value of 95.6 million Euros); vegetable and animal oils and fats (with a share of 19.8% and a value of 82.1 million Euros); baked products and farinaceous foods (with a share of 18.5% and a value of 76.6 million Euros), closely followed by beverages (with a share of 18.2% and a value of 75.4 million Euros).