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Italian “ PDO Economy” grows again: 19.1 billion euros in production (+16.1%) in 2021

At the top by value Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Prosecco Doc, Prosciutto di Parma and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. Wine leading sector

A glass of Prosecco, a sliver of Parmigiano Reggiano, a slice of Prosciutto di Parma, a piece of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. What told in this way sounds like a classic aperitif is actually the representation in the glass and on the plate of Italy’s most “precious PDOs and PGIs”, the summa of that “PDO Economy” which, in 2021, touched a production value of 19.1 billion euros (+16.1% over 2020), an export value of 10.7 billion euros (+12.8%), with a weight of 21% on the total value of Italian agribusiness. Thanks to food, which is worth 8 billion euros, with 319 PDO and PGI products, and especially wine, which is worth more than 11, with 526 designations and indications of origin, bringing the total to 845, almost double the 445 in 2000. A widespread wealth, in terms of history, taste, culture, biodiversity and economy, with spillover effects on all regions, all provinces and almost all of Italy’s 7,904 municipalities. At the regional level, Veneto leads, with 4.8 billion euros (almost all attributable to wine), ahead of Emilia Romagna (3.6 billion euros) and Lombardy (2.1), although the region where PDO and PGI weigh most on the total value of the agri-food sector is Friuli Venezia Giulia, where certified products are worth 1.1 billion euros, 63 percent of the regional total. These are the highlights of the Ismea-Qualivita Report No. 20, presented today in Rome. From this, a situation emerges that outlines a great driving force on the part of the PDO and PGI product chains, which have always been the expression of an economic heritage that by its very nature cannot be delocalized, the result of the cohesive work of a complex and organized system that, throughout the country, involves 198,842 operators and 291 Protection Consortia authorized by the Ministry.
The economic impact of the “PDO economy”, after being reduced in 13 regions in 2020, Qualivita explains, returns to growth in as many as 18 Italian regions, with double-digit progression in 10 of them. The four regions of the Northeast increase their role as economic drivers and for the first time exceed the 10 billion mark (€10.6 billion), reaching 55% of the total national value of the PDO and PGI sector, with a growth of +19.1% that goes well beyond recovering from the 2020 decline. Veneto and Emilia-Romagna not only remain the top regions by value, but report growth of +28% and +11% on 2020, respectively. The Northwest regions with 3.8 billion euros mark +10.8%, with the main contribution from Lombardy (+7.2%) and Piedmont (+15.4%), while those in the Center reach 1.7 billion euros for +15.5%, led by Tuscany (+18.6%). But the most interesting figure concerns the “South and Islands” area, the only one to grow in 2020 (+7.5%) and in 2021 with 3.0 billion euros marking a further +13.2% with values always rising for Campania, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia.
On the export front, PDOs and PGIs in food and wine reached 10.7 billion euros in 2021, the report explains, for a weight of 21% in overall Italian agrifood exports, a result that is the sum of a “double record” with food at 4.41 billion euros and +12.5% year-on-year and wine at 6.29 billion euros (+13.0%). In particular, double-digit growth was recorded for major categories, from cheeses (+15%) to balsamic vinegar (+11%) to meat products (+13%). The wine sector is driven by PDO wines (+16%), led by sparkling wines (+25%).

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