Brexit: the reactions of Italy’s food industry

Federalimentare demand for a European Union in solidarity to address Brexit, duties and labelling
Brexit: the reactions of Italy’s food industry

Brexit, the war of duties, a labelling system that protects Italian food excellence: 2020 will be a year full of challenges for Italy’s food industry. To win them “a strong, united European Union that protects us” is needed according to Ivano Vacondio, president of Italy’s F&B industry association Federalimentare.


With a turnover of 145 billion in 2019, food industry is the second largest manufacturing sector in Italy and creates an excellence in demand worldwide.

On behalf of our Made in Italy production – said Vacondio at a convention in the European Parliament – we ask Europe first of all to act as a peacemaker and not as a detonator in the great issues we will have to face. I am referring in particular to tariffs, about which we suggest the EU to exclude all American agri-food products from the list of possible countermeasures, limiting attention to the aeronautical industry alone.”

As far as Brexit is concerned – added the president of Federalimentare it is necessary to avoid any tension and, despite the few months to define the details of the agreement, succeeding in doing so will be essential both for the Italian economyGreat Britain in fact represents the fourth market for our country – and for British consumers.”


Federalimentare calls for appropriate internationalization policies and special attention to the recent bilateral agreements signed by the EU, which have already shown to have a positive impact.

Thanks to the EPA, for example, the Italian food industry in Japan grew by +11.7% in the first 7 months of 2019 over the same period in 2018. After CETA, Italian food exports to Canada increased by +4.8% compared to 2018. Moreover, the recent free trade agreement with Vietnam allowed Made in Italy food industry to grow by +30%.


In addition to maintaining high standards, it is absolutely necessary that these characteristics be shared and equal in all the countries of the European Union: only in this way we can truly respect the needs of what is now our main shareholder: the European consumer”, explained the President of Federalimentare in relation to the urgency of finding a shared system of EU rules and regulations on some important issues such as labelling, food safety, and environmental standards.

The reference is mainly to Nutriscore, the French labelling system that could undermine Italian food excellence. “It was necessary to oppose to this system the one developed by the Italian government, the NutrInform Battery, based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet, the best in the world. Now we have one more tool to protect Made in Italy” – Vacondio said.

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