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The Italian food and beverage industry offers quality and traceability at ALIMENTARIA 2008


The Italian food and beverage industry offers quality and traceability at ALIMENTARIA 2008

The Italian Trade Commission (ICE) has organised an official delegation to Alimentaria 2008 , with the aim of strengthen the position Italy has gained in the Spanish agri-food market, as well as introducing new brands and types of Italian food delicacies. The event is well established as one of the key ones in the sector in Europe, and is recognised as the most important trade fair for industry operators in the Iberian peninsula and in the neighbouring North African countries.

The show’s 17th edition, which will be held in Barcelona from 10 to 14 March 2008, is expected to attract approximately 155,000 professional visitors from 155 countries, and over 5,000 exhibitors. The figures are in line with last year’s event, attended by 152,000 people. During the 16th edition exhibitors also numbered approximately 5,000 (30% of which from abroad, up 6% from 2004).

Alimentaria 2008 is an opportunity for the “Made in Italy” cohort to promote its excellence in a very interesting market for Italian food and beverage businesses: despite the current crisis, domestic consumption and the construction sector are still the main factors of growth for Spain’s GDP – which in 2007 is expected to grow by 3.7% (est. ICE-Italian Foreign Ministry), slightly below the previous year’s 3.9% The import/export figures between Italy and Spain in the food and drink sector demonstrate that the Spanish market offers unquestionable growth potential: in 2006, the latest yearly cycle for which data is available, Spanish food and drink expenditure reached 81.92 billion euros (+5.3% per year). The interesting part is that the most significant consumption growth is seen within products associated with quality (organic products and products with guaranteed traceability). For example: family consumption of IGP wine grew by 6%; extra-virgin olive oil grew three times as much (+18.6%).

In 2006, Italian food and drink exports were worth 18.94 billion euros (source: ICE), up 6.39% from 2005. During the first ten months of 2007 growth has accelerated, reaching a yearly rate of 7.5%. EU-25 represents the largest market, with exports totalling 12.9 billion euros, or 67% of the total. Spain, in particular, is the fifth largest market for Italian food and drink exports. If in 2006 exports to Spain reached 883 million euros (+2.14% a year), between January and October 2007 exports were worth 718.23 million euros (+1.77% a year).

During the first ten months of last year, the largest Italian food exports towards Spain were fish products (140.38 million euros), confectionery products (132 million euros), fruits and vegetables (70.66 million euros), dairy products (63.92 million euros) and cured meats (13.85 million euros).

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