The inauguration of the Pavilion, in the presence of the Italian Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida, the Italian Ambassador to the United States Mariangela Zappia, the President of the Italian Trade Agency Matteo Zoppas, the President of the Italian farmers association Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini, and the Chairman of the Barilla Group Guido Barilla, marked the official start of the three-day event dedicated to the excellence of the Italian agri-food industry.
Mariangela Zappia, Ambassador of Italy in the USA, said, “I am very pleased to be here with you to inaugurate the 76th edition of the Summer Fancy Food exhibition, the most important specialty food event in the United States and one of the top events of its kind in the world. As always, Italy plays a leading role with a strong representation of 200 companies. The Italian agri-food sector continues to be a symbol of the Italian presence in the United States. In 2022, Italian F&B exports to the US amounted to USD 7.3 billion, accounting for 11% of Italy’s total exports. Wine alone generates USD 2.3 billion in sales in the US market. What sets Italian specialties apart is not only taste, but also tradition, food safety, innovation, and the quality of the raw materials used in our products. Moreover, food is an integral part of our lifestyle and a testament to Italian creativity, as evidenced by the diverse regional specialties presented here today.”
Matteo Zoppas, President of the Italian Trade Agency, said, “This opening that we are celebrating today is very important because it is the first one in a long time without face masks. In fact, we are coming out of a very difficult situation that was also very challenging for our companies. Moreover, six months ago at the latest, we foresaw once again a difficult future due to the high transportation costs from Italy to the United States. However, everything seems to be returning to normal and this gives hope to our entrepreneurs and to the export of Italian products.”
Guido Barilla, President of the Barilla Group, said, “The Barilla Group has been committed to the US market for many years. We started investing here in the mid-nineties and today we have two factories here. I am one of the Italian producers and I know their mentality and their passion very well. So I can assure you that we work every day to bring the best of Italy to the world. The USA is an important market for us, where we will continue to invest with great hopes for the future.”
ITALIAN CUISINE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The aim of the Pavilion and of Italy’s participation in the show is to highlight, before an audience of foreign buyers and consumers, the difference between the cuisine, products, and biodiversity of authentic Italian food, on the one hand, and imitation Made in Italy, on the other.
The Summer Fancy Food Show 2023 is also an opportunity to support the candidacy of Italian cuisine for inclusion in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.