Allegrini 2018

“Made in Italy agri-food is the feather in our cap, let’s invest”, said the Prime Minister Conte

The Coldiretti forum at TuttoFood: “Quality and typicality are values that make us competitive worldwide”
The Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte with that of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini at Tuttofood

Agri-food in Italy is worth 205 billion euros and represents 12% of the Gross Domestic Product. It is the driving force for the entire economy abroad, where it represents the real symbol of Made in Italy products. This is the data revealed at Tuttofood, in Milan, during the Coldiretti Forum, in which the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte participated. “Agribusiness is an Italian excellence, it is the flagship of Made in Italy. This sector focuses heavily on being Italian”, Conte said, “and we must enhance it, and enhance the culture of nutrition, focusing on quality and typicality, the values that make us competitive at the global level. According to Censis, we have reached 62 billion euros in added value, the maximum of the entire manufacturing sector that employs 1.3 million people, while exports are worth 41 billion euros, so these numbers allow us to plan the future. We have an ambitious, but feasible goal to reach 50 billion euros in 2019. We need to work better abroad, but there are some problems. Ninety-five percent of our companies are small, counting less than 9 workers, meaning that they are small to medium-sized enterprises, so if we do not make a system, we are doomed to lose the competitive challenge. We must work to increase capitalization, and in the Growth Decree there are rules that favor this path, as well as dimensional growth. But we need to improve in exports. ICE does great things, but it is not enough. We are working with Government Ministers to reorganize the entire “Italian System”. I travel a lot, and when I am abroad this is always one of the goals, but I have found that more needs to be done, to offer more support to businesses, even through the Embassies. We have 64.000 organic farms, over 800 DOP and IGP products, and we can boast the record in biodiversity: no one equals us. This is our wealth, and we must start to improve working conditions and income based on it. We also need to improve synergy with tourism”.
There are other critical issues, Conte continued, such as the fight against Italian sounding and counterfeit, “which concerns not only the foreign markets, but also the domestic ones”, the threat of duties imposed by the US, “with which we are in excellent relations and will do everything we can to avoid damages, even if this is not a bilateral issue between the US and Italy, but between the US and the EU”. There are issues on which to invest more, like supporting youth entrepreneurship, biotechnology research, and infrastructures. The Premier again emphasized that there are favorable situations, “like the improved relations with China, thanks to the “Silk Road”, which we must capitalize immediately”.

The President of the Council, Conte, talked about many issues including the need to harmonize the food labeling system, “pushing on transparency fearlessly, because in terms of quality we are the strongest, while remembering to not give in to obsessions such as traffic light labels”, and the difficulty in competing with countries “where the issue of rights and safety of agriculture workers is not addressed with the same sensitivity we have”. And further, “agri-food is one of the pillars on which the Government, which is entering “phase 2”, wants to invest to restart Italy”.

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