2021, 4th September – The third appointment of the 100per100 Italian Talks 2021 was held on 3rd September, dedicated to the EU market, with six exceptional speakers who shared their vision on the new dynamics of Made in Italy exports in Europe. 

Created in a digital version, the Talks are the format of international conferences signed by I Love Italian Food to develop new ideas and visions on how to improve the export of Made in Italy in the European market. 

After the editions dedicated to the first two non-EU markets of Italian agri-food exports, the US and Japan, we decided to dedicate the third Talks of this 2021 to the EU market, which is a particular market, without borders and regulated by common rules, but still with a large potential for growth. The aim once again is to create an ecosystem from which new visions on how to increase exports of Made in Italy to international markets can emerge,” says Silvia Meloni, Head of External Relations of I Love Italian Food, who led the conference. 

The first to take the floor is Francesca Nonino, sixth generation of the Nonino family and recently defined “the influencer of grappa”. The vision of Nonino Distillatori’s web communication manager and export manager for the US and Russian markets was definitely involving. “I believe that what we should do to support Made in Italy is to force the use of clear, immediate, transparent product information for the consumer. That’s why I think that if we want the made in Italy to continue to shine all over the world, we have to start again from the place where the Italian excellence is born: Italy itself,” said Francesca Nonino in her speech, determined and passionate. 

The conference continued with an institutional view of Mr Francesco Alfonsi, from 2019 at the head of the ICE – Italian Trade Agency – office in Berlin. Germany is the first country in the European market for Italian food exports and in his speech Alfonsi explains what he believes are the reasons for this success of Made in Italy products. Italian culinary culture is in fact a meeting point between many nations and cultures. It is precisely this contamination that enriches our cuisine and the products that make it up. Simplicity and diversity are the key words that will always continue to characterise and make Made in Italy successful abroad. 

Representing the world of catering was Filippo Saporito, chef and owner of the Florentine restaurant La Leggenda dei Frati and President of the Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe Italia association. The passion for Italian food shone through his eyes as he opened the speech with a tomato in his hands, the beginning of his argument. There are three key concepts shared by Saporito that make Italy successful abroad: the unique geography of our country, its undeniable beauty and traditions. Traditions that have succeeded and become innovations, making Italy the country with the highest number of innovations in the world. “And then there is the tomato: what is one of the most recognised dishes in the world? Spaghetti with tomato sauce. The tomato didn’t exist five centuries ago, it was brought in when Columbus changed the direction of his ships. This is the story: an ingredient that comes from the other side of the world and that we Italians have taken, cultivated and processed, making it into an excellence. So what is tradition if not successful innovation? This is the secret of us Italians: we are successful innovators.” President Filippo Saporito concludes. 

On the Talks stage it was then the turn of another institutional point of view, this time from France, with the speech by Mr Giovanni Sacchi, Director of the ICE – Italian Trade Agency – office in Paris. Sacchi gave a precise and detailed picture of the French market, one of the markets most affected by the consequences of the pandemic, but which has not however compromised the strategic relationship with the Made in Italy market. In fact, despite the fact that, with the lockdowns, the French have preferred to buy local products, sourcing them mainly from small retailers and online, in 2020 Italian exports to France increased by 3%. Pasta, tomatoes and cheeses are the best-selling products and the growth trend continued in the first half of 2021. According to Giovanni Sacchi, the know-how and the unique creativity of the Italians are the winning elements that allow our products to be loved also by the French.

The conference continued with a representative from the world of distribution. From Germany, Stephan Aswald, Managing Director of Antonio Viani Importe, a company that has been distributing and selling selected 100% Italian products since 1973, took the floor. 

With his twenty years of experience in the world of sales, Aswald explains how Italian products, such as pasta, have now become a regular part of the German diet, and highlight how important it is to tell people about products made in Italy, the origin of the raw materials, the production process, and the strengths of our unique products. “Improving Made in Italy exports means two things: transferring the concept of ‘excellence’ to foreign consumers, especially in terms of high-quality ingredients, and guaranteeing a reliable supply chain, from logistics to labelling.”  According to Stephan Aswald, these are the strong points on which Made in Italy must insist in order to be successful on the European market. 

The Talks were closed by Patrik Vespignani, creator of Little Italy Finland, the Festival held in Helsinki to promote the internationalisation of Italian producers on the Scandinavian market. 

With the aim of recreating an authentic Italian experience in Finland – complete with an inflatable reproduction of the Colosseum and the Tower of Pisa – the Festival attracted more than 25,000 visitors, with days reserved for meetings between companies and buyers and days dedicated to entertainment for end consumers. Show cooking, sales, training seminars to tell the true made in Italy, also offering support to companies even in the phases of labelling and logistics of the products. Little Italy Finland is a true case of success in the promotion of Made in Italy that will be repeated again in 2022, even outside the Scandinavian borders. 

This European edition of the 100per100 Italian Talks highlighted the desire to create synergy and network in the barrier-free market of the European Union, with optimistic visions regarding strategies to improve exports of Made in Italy. The picture was completed not only by the speakers’ speeches, but also by the messages of the five Protection Consortia that supported the I Love Italian Food initiative: Prosecco DOC and the PDOs of Asiago, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Sardo and Taleggio. All realities that not even the Covid-19 was able to stop and that have decided to look beyond the pandemic and invest in exports.

The video of 100per100 Italian Talks is available at this link,as well as on the Facebook pages of I Love Italian Food, Dissapore and italiani.it. 

100per100 Italian Talks are a project of I Love Italian Food, realized thanks to the support of: Consorzio di tutela della DOC Prosecco, Consorzio per la Tutela Formaggio Asiago, Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Gorgonzola DOP, Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Pecorino Sardo, Consorzio Per La Tutela Del Formaggio Taleggio.

In media partnership with Dissapore, italiani.it e Kibo. 

I Love Italian Food is the international network that promotes and defends the true Italian food and wine culture.
A community that since 2015 has reached more than three billion digital contacts worldwide. 

With its network of professionals, it produces content for the narration of Italian food, organizes international events to create dialogue with professionals and supports research and training initiatives, to teach Italian products and cuisine to international professionals. 

I Love Italian Food, born to promote the authentic Italian food. With Love.