New Record for Italian Food Exports in the UK

Sales reach 3.4 billion euros. The UK produces only 1/3 of the food it consumes. In view of Brexit, now imminent, the rush to stockpile has started

Historical record of 3.4 billion euros for Made in Italy food exports to the UK on the eve of Brexit. A no-deal Brexit could, however, compromise everything, due to customs duties and delays that would arise with Great Britain’s new status of Third Country with respect to the EU. This is what emerges from an analysis of Italy’s farmers association Coldiretti on the basis of Istat data for 2018, which show an increase of 2% in Italian food and drink exports.


After wine, which has a total turnover of almost 827 million euros on the British market, the second most sold Italian food products in the UK are fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, such as tomato products with 234 million, followed by pasta, cheese, and olive oil. Sales of Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano are also important, with a value of around 85 million euros. A hard Brexit could also undermine the legal protection of typical Italian brands and products. Italy’s PDO and PGI food products account for about 30% of Italian total food exports.


The impact of Brexit on food supplies is also worrying British consumers, who are stockpiling food in view of the likely price increases. The British Government is trying to mitigate these problems with a drastic reduction in duties. Considering that almost 1/3 of the food consumed in the UK comes from the countries of the EU, the alarm launched by the major distribution chains seems justified. Great Britain is indeed forced to resort to imports from the EU (30%), the Americas (8%), Africa (4%), Asia (4%), and other countries. “The lack of an agreement is the worst-case scenario as it risks slowing down the flow of exports. Moreover, what is worrying is also the risk that, after Brexit, a legislation unfavorable to Italian food exports will be affirmed in the UK,” says the president of Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini.

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