Italy launches its agri-food exports plan to fight Coronavirus

The extraordinary 2020 plan for the promotion of Made in Italy is worth 44.6 billion euros. According to a survey by Coldiretti/Ixè one in two Italian exporting companies is in difficulty

The 2020 extraordinary plan to support Italy’s food exports, in difficulty due to the coronavirus emergency, is now underway. It is worth 44.6 billion euros (716 million in 2020) and represents a driving force for the entire Made in Italy. This is what Italian farmers association Coldiretti announced at the sidelines of the meeting at Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the strategic communication campaign to support the agri-food sector.

According to a survey by Coldiretti/Ixè, one in two (53%) Italian agri-food exporting companies has received cancellations in purchase orders from abroad.


The plan is necessary to fight against “the misinformation, instrumental attacks and unfair competition that has led some countriesColdiretti denounces – to request senseless ‘virus free’ health certifications on food products from Lombardy and Veneto. There have also been absurd cancellations for wine and food from all over Italy under the pressure of a distrust”.

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The 716 million euros budget for 2020 will be used as follows:

  • Credit support for Italian companies operating in foreign markets;
  • An extraordinary communication campaign around the world to support Made in Italy products and Italian tourism;
  • Free participation, until March 2021, in ICE – Italian Trade Agency’s initiatives abroad for all companies. There will be more than 200 events, in 50 foreign markets, for a total of 15 million euros of expenses that will be faced by ICE and no longer by companies;
  • From April 1, 2020, ICE services in Italy and abroad will become free of charge for companies with less than 100 employees;
  • Reinforcement of the presence of Italian products in the large-scale organised distribution of mature markets. In the next few weeks, therefore, ICE will work to increase the agreements with the large-scale retail chains of countries such as the United States and Germany, but also Japan or Arab countries;
  • 20 million euros to increase the presence of Italian companies on market places. This initiative is particularly useful at this time when, due to the coronavirus, many companies are in fact banned from travelling abroad;
  • For the same reason, in the coming weeks, there will also be increased support for participation in the virtual trade shows that are taking place after the cancellation of the ‘physical’ ones;
  • The implementation of the “Week of Italian Cuisine in the World” is confirmed in 2020;
  • Further actions to fight the counterfeiting of Made in Italy products in the world that causes 100 billion damages. This year Italy aims to move from the experimental phase to the implementation and large-scale implementation of the blockchain technology on Italian products, which allows consumers to be sure of the Italian nature of the goods purchased;


Almost two thirds (63%) of Italian agri-food exports go to EU countries, where in 2019 sales grew by +3.6%. The main partner is Germany, where exports grew by 2.9% and reached 7.2 billion euros, while sales are practically stagnant in the UK and are booming in the United States (+11%, 4.7 billion euros) which, despite the bad effects of duties, remains the first outlet market outside the EU and the fourth after Germany, France, and Great Britain.

The most exported Italian product is wine, whose turnover abroad is estimated at 6.4 billion in 2019. In second place we find fruit and vegetables. Very important market shares regard PDO products, on which the attention of the communication campaign will focus.


We need a decisive intervention of the European Union to support our production and rebuild a climate of trust,” said the President of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini, pointing out that in terms of foreign tradewe need to use all diplomatic energy to overcome the U.S. duties and the Russian embargo that are severely affecting Made in Italy agri-food at a difficult time for our exports.”

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