Italian “risotto” rice is ready to conquer China. After a long negotiation, the Chinese authorities have finally authorized the import of Italian varieties of risotto rice, the true excellence of Made in Italy agri-food products. Thanks to this agreement, Italian rice will be appreciated by tens of millions of Chinese consumers.
Italy is currently the leading rice producer in the European Union – with more than 50% of the total production. Italian rice differs from that cultivated in the rest of the world thanks to many typical varieties, as well as PDO and PGI rices that recognize the specificity of the territories of origin. With 228 thousand cultivated hectares (+4% in 2020) and 4 thousand companies that harvest 1 million tons of milled rice every year, there are more than 200 different varieties: from Carnaroli, the “King of rices”, to Arborio and Vialone Nano (the first PGI rice), from Roma to Baldo. About 60% of Italian rice is currently exported, mainly to Germany and the UK.
“This is a long-awaited green light on a market of primary importance for Italian agribusiness” – says Dino Scanavino, president of the association of Italian farmers Cia-Agricoltori Italiani. “For Italy, Europe’s leading producer, an important market now opens up as millions of people in China are ready to appreciate our risotto” – Scanavino says.