Allegrini 2024

The PDO Economy of Italian wine is worth 11.3 billion euros ( with still many challenges to overcome

A result, in value, achieved thanks in part to the help of finance. The numbers at the Banca Monte dei Paschi conference on the day of Wine & Siena

A “force” that combines supply chain and tradition, history and quality, technique and vision, reaching 20 billion euros in value, thanks, also, to the support of finance that is showing itself close to an industry that guarantees employment, prestige, future but also pride. All this is the DOP Economy, a key theme at “Wine & Siena” no. 9 (the “dependance” in Tuscany of the “Merano WineFestival”, desired by patron Helmuth Köcher, with Confcommercio Siena, on stage in the city of the Palio, from today to January 29), in the conference “Dop Economy, between growth and future”, organized by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in the historic Palazzo Salimbeni, where a general overview of the Dop Economy was given with a focus on tools and strategies for the development of the Dop Igp food and wine sector, but also of the role of Banca Mps and institutions in the growth of the sector.
Mauro Rosati, managing director of Qualivita, took an in-depth look at the state of the art of the DOP economy, which embraces 195,000 operators, produces 11.6 billion in exports, involves 296 Protection Consortia, with a weight of 20% on the agrifood sector. Positive numbers but which cannot make us forget the emergencies that the agricultural sector is going through, from droughts to floods, from microclimates to pathologies, passing through the problem of raw materials (especially in animal husbandry) to that of labor. Wine, in the PDO Economy, has a leading role, the numbers say it: starting with the 529 PDO/PGI designations (world leadership), the 11.3 billion in production value (No. 2 in the world), 6.97 billion in export value (second position in the world), 110,000 operators in the supply chains, 340,000 employees, 128 recognized protection consortiums. Yet, because of the problems encountered, downy mildew and beyond, some numbers have gone down in 2023 at the production level and beyond. Production, estimated, stopped at 39 million hectoliters (it was 50 million in 2022 and 2021); 51 million hectoliters the stocks as of July 2023, the highest in the last 20 years. For prices, the performance is -2% (2023 index) with the Italian market standing at -3% in the first 10 months of 2023 due to cautious consumption but also due to the exploit of promoted and cheap wines. The value of exports is also down (-2% in the first 9 months 2023), bottled and sparkling wines by volume go down (-3%), but with value up (+2%). The challenges that Italian wine will face in 2024 will be those related to climate change (as many as 35 specifications have been changed due to a question of altimetry); to the conquest of new consumers who are increasingly close to dealcolated products and who are looking for different values; to markets and therefore exports (current issue of the blockage in the Suez Canal that could disadvantage Europe in the Asian market to the advantage of Australia); to the “health” issue that is increasingly dear to consumers’ hearts, without forgetting pivots such as sustainability and traceability. Maria Chiara Zaganelli, Ismea director general, spoke about the institution’s commitment to the Italian agri-food sector, focusing on financial instruments, the many funding opportunities were recalled, included in the Psp as well as in the Pnrr and Pnc and beyond. From 2023 to 2027, regarding the wine sector intervention, 1.5 billion is planned between restructuring and reconversion, investments, green harvesting, distillation of by-products, and promotion in third countries. Maurizio Bai, Chief Commercial Officer Imprese e Private at Banca Mps, on the other hand, described the evolution of the Mps offering to support agrifood with innovative tools, expertise and specialized advice: “Agriculture is an integral part of the history of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which has been able to accompany the growth of the sector to a position of leadership today. With Mps Agroalimentare and its 15 specialized territorial centers, the bank supports the districts and supports companies operating in the agrifood sector, championing a new service model that includes evolved digital solutions, with advice in subsidized finance and a specialized structure on supply chains. In the future, we want to continue to accompany companies in this sector, supporting them in the environmental and digital transition, with a particular focus on the DOP Economy, a system of agricultural excellence that, with more than 200,000 companies and a total turnover of more than 20 billion euros, represents the country’s economic heritage and the essence of the sustainability of territories”.
In the second part of the panel discussion “Dop Economy between growth and the future”, signed by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, representatives of excellence in agribusiness, remotely connected from different Italian territories, took the floor; speeches that highlighted how synergies, between the banking world and institutions, are increasingly important for the growth of the Dop Economy, as well as for the development of Italian agribusiness excellence. Antonio Capaldo, at the head of Tenute Capaldo (which includes Feudi di San Gregorio, one of the most important wineries in southern Italy, in Campania, as well as Basilisco, an iconic winery in Vulture; Campo alle Comete, in Bolgheri; and Galardi, also in Campania), spoke of how “synergy can accentuate development. Italian wine needs to recover a dimension of value, which is now lower than in France but also with respect to the quality we offer. We also need to make more scale and acquisitions, we were the first to move from the South to Northern Italy to make them and this is also thanks to the support we had. Alcohol-free wine ? The quality consumer does not drink it, we must, rather, deal with the health issue, a challenge we can win with culture and by following the Mediterranean Diet, which also includes some wine”. Carlotta Gori, managing director of the Chianti Classico Consortium, recalled the importance of the “revolving pledge, a tool achieved thanks to Banca Mps and, for the first time, applied to the world of wine; it was born at a time of discouragement (period of the pandemic, ed.), and it was important. This is an opportunity that needs to be put to work on farms where wine represents value because it has brought benefits and will bring them in the future. To be able to say that wine has a value recognized by the credit world is very important”. Raniero Pallottini, CEO of Salpi, a company with a great history in the production of cured meats, spoke from the plant in Preci, in the heart of the Sibillini Mountains, with the Norcia ham being the pinnacle of production. A relationship, with Banca Mps, that has lasted since 1990, “an essential support for the growth of the company and for the operations dedicated to the structure and the product”. A solid relationship also highlighted by Massimo Panagia, sole director of Francia Latticini, the largest producer outside Campania of Mozzarella di Bufala Dop, who spoke of “a wonderful collaboration” with the Bank, also dwelling on future plans and thus on “increasing the production area with the new plant that will accommodate production lines related to the cold chain and products with an international vocation”. And then Nicola Bertinelli, president of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, an excellence loved all over the world and the second highest-value district in Italy, connected by the Magazzini Generali Fiduciari owned by the Montepaschi Group: “Mps is alongside the supply chain on several points. Ours is also a very long aging cheese and we need places to make it, where we can store the products. So it is logistical help that we receive but also financial help, for the supply chain, at various times. Not forgetting that we have the Parmesan Academy here, where the “experts” come, so support also comes to us in carrying out the Consortium’s activities”. Magazzini Generali, which, as Fabrizio Schintu, managing director Magazzini Generali Fiduciari, recalled, “accommodates more than 250,000 wheels, but with the expansion it will then be more”.
The conclusions of the conference, moderated by Cesara Buonamici, Deputy Director of Tg5, were entrusted to the words of the CEO of Banca Mps, Luigi Lovaglio, who remarked on the role and importance of the wine sector for the economy: “wine is culture, environment, society, territory, lifestyle. Wine is an ambassador of the beauty of our country and as such must be enhanced and supported to bring out all its value”. Lovaglio emphasized the Bank’s role as a reference for this sector, adding how “product excellence guarantees growth”. And then the value of experience, what a bottle of good wine can give, a memory that remains over the years. With a related anecdote: “2023 was a special year, a Brunello was elected as the best wine in the world, a colleague after the award was given, came to the bank with a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino 2018 from Tenuta di Argiano to remember the exceptional year of Mps”. Which will hopefully, in 2024, also accompany the world of Italian wine, eager to grow again.

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