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The conviction that the record of Italian agri-food exports of 50 billion euros in 2021 will be reached and exceeded, the certainty that the added value of the supply chain is born in the processing industry that makes raw material of absolute quality food and wine excellence that conquers the world, become raw material of absolute quality, the awareness that there are many challenges to face immediately for the sector, from those on labeling to that of sustainability that cannot be only environmental, up to the desire to return to the big events in attendance, fundamental for doing business and designing the future, how Cibus will be in Parma, between the end of August and the beginning of September: all of this is in the thinking of Ivano Vacondio, president of Federalimentare, interviewed by WineNews. Which starts from the decidedly encouraging data on agri-food exports in the first half of 2021, up by + 11.2% on 2020, according to Istat data. “I am sure that we will reach 50 billion in exports in 2021, I am optimistic, and I am not surprised – explains Vacondio – because those who live in contact with companies and markets have long been aware of the spaces that exist for made in Italy. The record is within reach, obviously if we do not run into new nefarious closures of the out-of-home, since we are still at the mercy of this pandemic and some villain who does not vaccinate, putting his and others’ health at risk, and the away from home sector which has a huge impact in terms of turnover and liquidity. And I say, not in a polemical sense and without any disrespect, that of these 50 billion 40 billion is made by the processing sector and 10 billion by the primary. I emphasize this not to diminish the work of the agricultural world, which is fundamental for us, because we need quality raw materials, but whoever values ​​the agricultural product is then the processing industry “.
And if the priority today is still overcoming the pandemic, Vacondio also looks at structural issues. “We have two important risks that we run, and on which I have asked the institutions for commitment and support to defend us both from the attacks that come to us from Nutriscore and by those who want to put the Mediterranean diet and our products of excellence in difficulty with a stamp such as that of safety, both from the “Farm To Fork” (pillar of the European Green Deal, ed) intended as the road to a diet “universal diet ”, And which we will also discuss at the United Nations Food Systems Summit in September in the US in New York. Going towards a uniform diet would be a terrible blow to us. Here, too, the defense of the planet is used as a trigger, but who is it that does not agree to defend the planet? In this sense, the food industry – underlines Vacondio – has made great strides. We have reformulated 4,000 products with less fat, less sugar, but one concept must be very clear: on its own, no product is harmful to people’s health or to the planet. It is the reckless use made of it that can be. It is balanced diets that must take place, and above all an adequate diet and lifestyle, which must also start from schools. This is the real battle to be done.
Because behind the theme of “sustainability” – continues the Federalimentare president – there is actually a great threat to our products, because we need to combine the concept of environmental sustainability with that of economic and social sustainability, and the acceleration of the times wants to give on this front has costs that are unsustainable after a year and a half of a pandemic like this one. The costs of achieving the goals set for 2030 (those set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ed) are very high. I believe it is a horizon, a project that needs to be reviewed, not only to defend the interests of the industrialists that I represent here, but of everyone. Because there is a risk, perhaps, of fighting pollution and climate change and then finding social disorder if many factories have to close and many will be unemployed. It is something that must be evaluated very carefully ”.
Themes that, together with business, will also be at the center of Cibus, on stage at Fiere di Parma, from 31 August to 3 September (which we have already talked about here 50-billion-exports-and-within-reach_448963 /), the first major international food & beverage fair to restart.
“It is the first show in presence, with people, and it is also exciting. There will be contingent appearances, with the green pass or with the tampon – underlines Vacondio – but the insiders will all be there. It will be an extraordinary moment because it is the first major event, because it comes after very hard years and because we have three Ministers, Stefano Patuanelli of Agricultural Policies, Giancarlo Giorgetti of Economic Development and Luigi di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the top management of Confindustria and of the whole supply chain, trade unions, representatives, from Coldiretti to Confagricoltura, from Cia-Agricoltori to Cooperatives, Consumer Cooperatives, from Coop to Conad, and there will be a great debate on the issues I mentioned, and also on how to deal with post markets pandemic, which will not be easy at all.
It will be an important moment, to address the problems but also to celebrate the successes of this supply chain: we are the second largest manufacturer in the country, in the last 12 years we have achieved + 95% of export turnover, and in 2021 we will have a record second semester, and this makes us proud. In the first phase of the pandemic we showed how resilient this sector is, we kept the country on its feet together with healthcare, always filling the shelves at certain times was not an easy thing. And this role must be recognized to us ”.

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Marco Ribaudo

Marco Ribaudo

For the love of food and wine! Marco Ribaudo, Certified Sommelier, with 25 years in the food and beverage industry now invites you to join him in his latest adventure, the opening of la Cucina del Vino to share his culture and passion for creating unforgettable memories around the table.

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