Russian embargo does not stop Italian export of fresh food. The challenge was to reach the target of 1,000 tons of product by the end of 2014 but the dairy companies coming from Italy have already got this result at least two months early.
Assolatte highlights, in fact, that between 2000 and 2013 the volume of exports has increased by more than 1,600%, from 58 to 996 tons. And the evolution has been consistent too: in the last 14 years, the turnover of our dairy export has passed from 469,000 to more than 6.8 million euros (+1,280%).
The most sought after Italian cheeses in the United Arab Emirates, confirms Assolatte, are mozzarella and fresh cheeses, which represent 47% in volume and 39% in value of the total Italian dairy product export in the first ten months of 2014. Other highly appreciated cheeses are Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano, which account for 28.5% in quantity and 35% in value. However, many other Italian cheeses are exported to the Emirates, such as various sheep’s milk cheeses, grated cheeses, with herbs as well as semi-hard and soft cheeses, which have proven indispensable in the top restaurants and which hold high the prestige that Italian cuisine enjoys in these lands.
“The region of the Middle East is one of the most interesting for Italian companies and shows solid opportunities for export growth”, comments Giuseppe Ambrosi, president of Assolatte, “here the offer of Italian products satisfies the growing consumption of quality products on behalf of the new local middle class and of the growing number of tourists, who in particular flock to the centers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In the luxury resorts, the more established restaurants and five-star hotels Italian cheese has an important and omissible presence, and the demand from local operators is constantly growing”.
Interest in Italian foods is also part of the growing attention for a healthier and ‘Mediterranean’ diet. In fact, as highlighted by Assolatte, even the United Arab Emirates are suffering from the ‘diseases of affluence’ and therefore the need to prevent illness and adopt a healthier lifestyle is coming about, with its starting point being food.