Home > Focus On
THE COURAGE OF ITALIAN HOUSEHOLD GOODS PRODUCERS RIDING THE WINDS OF CHANGE
Italian household goods producers have always been ahead of the market, with a good dose of courage and the knowledge that the future lies exclusively in having their products recognised abroad. At FIAC, the Italian Association of Cutlery, Flatware, Hollowware and Cookware Manufacturers, pessimism is not allowed: the major Italian producers of kitchen metalware proudly display the six-digit results of the latest economic reports for the sector and confirm what the chairman of the Federation of Italian Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries (ANIMA), of which FIAC is part, had forecast in lean times: "The Italian economy will restart from mechanics,” Sandro Bonomi had announced . Caution is a must, especially in terms of investment as the ANIMA chairman himself had predicted, but with the capacity to not slow down the processes of overseas growth on which producers have chosen to focus their investments since 2008. The latest estimate of turnover now stands at about 880 million sales a year and a consolidated export share of 63%.
The clear signal is that thanks to its exports the sector has been able to mend the breach dictated by the crisis. This is the philosophy that has ultimately inspired the entire mechanics-related sector: "Export,” says Bonomi, “is still, as it has been for many years, the determining factor for mechanics. Our firms, which are so highly appreciated abroad, are struggling in a domestic market which shows no signs of restarting. Our businessmen are looking outside to be able to resist inside.”
Moving the road map for growth eastwards and focusing on internationalisation has imposed sustained growth rates while, in terms of quality and sectoralisation of production, FIAC’s vocation has remained completely Italian. The historical production of Italian household goods has remained tied to distribution by product categories that catalogue distribution over six large macrosectors: cutlery, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans, dishes, coffee ware and gift items for the home. Their production has continued to dominate overseas markets, the same that FIAC monitors against the major levers of development from production standards to the main sales policies adopted above all in Europe. However, the extra-continental role is not marginal: Middle East and Asia remain the two largest reservoirs of growth and boost for the export sector, along with the United States.
"The real economy that we represent as the mechanics industry and the people working in this industry,” adds Bonomi, “is still living the tension of change. We must join forces with the political institutions and focus attention on a concrete and viable path to be able to undertake the new economic course in which we operate with the right features."
The manufacturers of household goods do not want to relinquish their clear-headedness ideas and determination in order to maintain the levels of development that have risen for the entire sector. Overall, the mechanics-related sector saw exports grow by 3.9% over the last year, rising from 21,045 million in 2010 to 21,872 million in 2011. Europe headed direct exports (27%), followed by Asia (22%), Africa (12%), North America (7%) and South-Central America (5%). The other positive balance has been in investments which had fallen in 2009 as a result of the crisis but returned to grow by 1% over the past year. Growth, but also much courage and persistence, has basically been the price to pay to become players at global level.