New York, November 22, 2019 – Promotion, opportunity and ambition.
These are the three key concepts that emerged during #ISTANDWITHMADEINITALY—the initiative organized by I Love Italian Food together with AICNY, on the occasion of the IV Week of Italian cuisine in the world, that henceforth came to life on November 20 at the prestigious Institute of Culinary Education of New York.
“If the consumer is free to choose not to buy the original product, because of the increase in prices, for restaurateurs it must be a choice of field, they must choose Made in Italy”. Alessandro Schiatti, founding member of I Love Italian Food, opened the afternoon with these fortifying words dedicated to the new US levies. I Love Italian Food is a cultural association committed to the promotion and defense of the authentic Italian food and wine culture.
This was followed by the interventions of the experts and opinion leaders involved in #istandwithemadeinitaly, including the contributions of entrepreneurs, chefs, representatives of the Consortiums, journalists and institutions.
Federico Tozzi, general secretary of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the initiative, highlighted how these tariffs can represent an opportunity in a complex market like the US, however that must place a strong focus on product quality. Just one month after the forceful entry of the new tariffs, national institutions began moving with more concrete actions. Antonino Laspina, ICE New York Director and Coordinator of the US Network, reported that the ICE Agency has already put specific support activities in place for the categories affected by the levies, which will provide the first opportunity for enhanced promotion at Winter Fancy Food. This will also create the visibility Country Partner will give to Italy in the 2020 editions of the event.
The centralized point of view proposed by the world of chefs, represented by the Association of the Italian Chefs of New York is Fabrizio Facchini, whom expressed his position reassuring professionals even in terms of food cost. He highlights the importance now, more than ever, for restaurateurs to collaborate with importers and distributors, through advantageous agreements, and to continue buying Made in Italy, thus reducing the consequences on costs.
Precisely in these idealities is one of the most appreciated and taken up visions during the initiative was that proposed by Michele Casadei Massari, executive chef and founder of Lucciola. Chef Michele emphasized that we must not surrender in the face of difficulties and, just like King Kong climbed the Empire State Building, going higher, using the tariffs as an opportunity to enhance our knowledge and our excellence.
The same excellences hit today by the tariffs, in particular those of our dairy sector, were represented by the Consortium for the Protection of Denominations of Origin that supported the #istandwithmadeinitaly initiative. In particular, the Consortiums of Asiago, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Toscano, Pecorino Romano and Pecorino Sardo were introduced, each launching a clear message shared by the representatives of the category: the importance of promoting and transferring knowledge of our products , spreading the awareness and value of Italian traditions.
The voices of importers and distributors we also present to supplement the overall view on the tariffs, represented for the occasion by Sogno Toscano, who in turn suggested an optimistic attitude, based on clear marketing actions, able to transmit stories, characteristics and values of authentic products. Products that will be compared to “domestic” products, those of American production, of ever increasing quality, but undoubtedly still far from our own. To witness the quality of our original products, the presence and support of the partners Montanari & Gruzza, Urbani Truffle and Pentole Agnelli.
Another important topic presented on the table of the fight against duties was the importance of the traceability of the supply chain,which told by Authentico, a partner of I Love Italian Food. Authentico founder Giuseppe Coletti explained the simple and easy traceability system accessible to recognize the original products, through their digital application.
The media point of view could not be missed, of course. An interpretation was led by La Cucina Italiana, a leading magazine in the sector, recently returned to the US market with a renewed edition. Sabina Montevergine, journalist and editor, explained the importance of communicating correctly to an audience that is deeply interested in Italian products, as it turns out to be the American one. Interest for both the history of products and the producers, and the indications to be able to recognize the original product and get out of the dispute parmesan vs Parmigiano Reggiano, from which, as expected, Made in Italy will always prevail.
The #istandwithmadeinitaly event was made possible thanks to the partners and friends of I Love Italian Food who contributed to the organization of the event and took place during the Italian Cooking Week, in particular, thanks for the support and protection the Consortium of Asiago, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Toscano, Pecorino Romano and Pecorino Sardo; Montanari & Gruzza, Tuscan Dream, Pentole Agnelli, Urbani Truffle, Authentico, La Cucina Italiana, Dissapore and the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce for sponsorship.