Covid -19: “Production at Italian factories is running at full capacity”

Ivano Vacondio, president of Italy’s food and beverage federation, Federalimentare interviewed by the Financial Times confirmed that producers struggle to meet a doubling in demand

Everything is under control, food factories won’t close.” With these words Ivano Vacondio, president of Italy’s food industries association Federalimentare, after having reassured the Italians in recent weeks characterized by the coronavirus emergency, now reassures the British and European citizens as well in an interview with the Financial Times.

As in the rest of Europe, in the UK, too, the restrictive measures introduced by the government to deal with coronavirus have triggered a race to hoard in supermarkets. As for Italian products, British consumers complain – in particular – about the shortage of pasta and tomato sauce. “The requested food is on its way, just a matter of hours – reassured the president of Federalimentare -. Production in Italy is under pressure: some factories have had to double their production quantities, so some slowdown is natural”, he says. “In the case of exports, logistics are further slowed down by border controls on hauliers: temperature, papers and documents. But since the UK is an island, the journey is even longer.”


Even now – continues Vacondio – Italian food production is proceeding at full capacity. Our companies normally work at 75% of their capacity. In this moment they are at full capacity to continue to guarantee Italian food in Italy and abroad. All this in spite of the 12-15% drop in the workforce due to the emergency. We are all under pressure, but the production of our food which the whole world as always requires – at this moment even more than usual – is not stopping” – Vacondio says.

The president of Federalimentare, Ivano Vacondio


Any shortages of Italian food products on European shelves are, if anything, due to the slowdowns at borders due to the numerous controls. Food production is not in question, therefore, even if there may be delays in deliveries.

When the FT asked if Italy runs the risk of running into production problems in the coming future, Vacondio replied: “The Italian government has provided companies with everything they need. On a possible blackout of Italian products, due to dependence on foreign raw materials, Vacondio reassures: “The flour needs 50% of foreign wheat to be produced all year round, but currently we have no shortages on arrival. Italy is autonomous on tomatoes, so there are even fewer problems“.

There are enough Italian food products for the whole of Europe. Food production is not in question, packaging production is at full capacity and maritime transport is guaranteed” – Vacondio says.

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