The 21st edition of Cibus trade show focused on the issue of agri-food self-sufficiency in Europe, starting from the fallout of the CAP and Farm to Fork reforms. According to Paolo De Castro, MEP and member of the Agriculture Commission of the European Parliament, “there is a risk that the ecological transition will put farmers with their backs against the wall, asking them a strong reduction of chemicals without concrete alternatives.”
According to the representatives of the Italian food industry, these issues must be accompanied by an analysis of the difficult international situation. “The pressure on companies risks to be unsustainable and compromising the quality of products whose standards are guaranteed by the protection Consortia,” stressed Giuseppe Ambrosi, President of EDA (European Dairy Association) and President and CEO of Ambrosi. “The price increase is an inevitable prospect, which risks compromising the extraordinary growth trend of Italian products,” argued Luigi Scordamaglia, Managing Director of Filiera Italia and Ad of Inalca. “The climate crisis is seriously conditioning some supply chains that lead the exports of Italian food,” says Costantino Vaia, CEO of Consorzio Casalasco. “We have been able to supply the shelves of international distribution thanks to our efficiency and ability to source raw materials. Reforms must protect this leadership in the processing of excellent products,” said Carlo Aquilano, Sales Director of F.lli De Cecco.
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THE LEVERAGE OF PRIVATE LABELS
Private labels are a decisive business lever for food industries that want to grow on foreign markets. Anna Verga, Head of global sales and business development of Coop Italian Food, recalled that Coop supplies this kind of products to important international distribution chains, showing how Italian retailers can also export in the absence of internationalized Italian chains.
A panel of leading Italian companies specializing in the production of private labels in Italy and abroad – including Formec Biffi, Clai, Zanetti Formaggi, and Zucchi – indicated the strategic sourcing lines of the major foreign chains. The strategy is to focus on Italian suppliers to meet and satisfy the taste of their consumers and implement their premium store brands. It is no coincidence that the premium private label segment is the only one growing internationally as it creates value on the shelf and consumer loyalty.
BLOCKCHAIN AT THE SERVICE OF AGRIBUSINESS
A concrete support to companies on the issue of traceability came from the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), which during the “Blockchain for agribusiness” conference announced a new service: “From June, ITA will offer companies the services of qualified operators, to trace and certify the origin of their products in the different steps of the supply chain with the blockchain technology,” said Carlo Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Agency. “The goal is twofold: brand defense and fight against Italian sounding, and marketing of sustainability. In fact, there can be no marketing of sustainability without traceability of the origin of the product.”