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Allegrini 2018
THE REFLECTION

Reputation, internationalization, economic recovery: challenges for Italian wine

Italian wine, after a record-breaking 2021 in exports, a substantial hold in the large-scale retail trade and a definite rebound in out-of-home consumption, compared to the very tough 2020, continues to be the best-performing item in Italian agribusiness. “But one cannot let one’s guard down and sleep on one’s laurels. The first months of 2022 still speak of growth in exports, but France, competitor No. 1, is growing much more than us. In large-scale retail there is what we feared, which is a drop in volumes also in relation to the increase in prices due to higher energy costs and material costs such as bottles, paper, and so on, with an average receipt going down, and in catering there is a net improvement, but quite obvious given that the comparison in the first part of the year is with a start of 2021 still partly in lockdown and partly with severe restrictions. And pre-pandemic levels are still a long way off”. Thus to WineNews, Vittorio Cino, Federvini’s managing director, outlines an outline that will be deepened with thematic tables and ad hoc research at the general assembly, staged on June 8, at Palazzo Rospigliosi, where data collected by the Federvini Observatory on the sector’s performance (wines, spirits, vinegars) in the first months of 2022 will be presented. With data that will be illustrated by Bruna Boroni, Director Industry Away From Home at TradeLab, Denis Pantini and Emanuele Di Faustino, head of Agribusiness Unit and Senior Project Manager Nomisma. And with thematic tables to be attended by Micaela Pallini, president of Federvini, Albiera Antinori, president of Federvini Wine Group, Giuseppe D’Avino, president of Federvini Spirits Group, Giacomo Ponti, president of Federvini Vinegar Group. Stefano Patuanelli, Minister of Agricultural Policies, Renato Brunetta, Minister of Public Administration, Paolo De Castro, MEP in the EU Agriculture Commission, Dario Stefano, president of the European Union Policies Commission in the Senate of the Republic, Filippo Gallinella, president of the Agriculture Commission in the Chamber of Deputies, the undersecretaries for Agricultural Policies, Gian Marco Centianaio, for Foreign Affairs Manlio di Stefano, for Health Andrea Costa, and Raffaele Nevi, leader of Forza Italia in the Agriculture Commission in the Chamber of Deputies.
“We did not want the classic institutional round table, but three panels”, Cino explains, “that will be led by the government’s undersecretaries, on Italian, European and social issues that revolve around wine. And we strongly wanted the presence of Minister Brunetta (who is also a wine producer with the Capizzucchi winery, in the Rome Doc, ed.), to talk about bureaucratic simplification (a topic on which Brunetta himself had unbalanced himself by promising important news by the summer at the Assoenologi congress in Verona, ed.)”.
According to Federvini general manager, there are three major challenges for the Italian wine sector. “The first is that of the reputation of the sector,which must be defended against the attacks that are often made on it in terms of its relationship with health, but also environmental sustainability, because many people still claim that consumption is harmful tout court, or that wine production is unsustainable for the environment and society, but this is not the case and we must continually reaffirm it”. Another big issue, according to Cino, is internationalization: “we need to grow more, to differentiate more markets, and we will also present proposals to the government to enable companies to strengthen themselves financially, to be able to acquire distributors abroad and have more resources on marketing and communication. Promotion, however, does not just mean more money to spend, but spending it better, with medium-term plans and not just short-term ones, investments on brands, but also figuring out how to act on mature markets that are already important, but also on emerging ones where we have little presence such as in Asia, Africa but also some American states”. Finally, the issue of economic revitalization. “As we will see from the data, wine is a viable and healthy sector, but there is no room for complacency. Inflation and war are making their effects felt, the good numbers of the recent past, both on the domestic and export fronts, should not delude us, the outlook for the second half of 2022 is by no means clear, and attention must be kept very high”.

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