Extended Italian agri-food supply chain nears €600B mark

The sector, comprising agriculture, food industry, intermediaries, distribution, and Horeca, contributes 19% of Italy's GDP in added value. Record-breaking exports in 2023 reached €62 billion
Extended Italian agri-food supply chain nears €600B mark

The expansive Italian agri-food supply chain, encompassing agriculture, food processing, distribution, intermediation, and retail sectors, maintains its upward trajectory, now cresting at €586.9 billion—a notable 8.4% surge from 2021 and a formidable 29% leap since 2015. This robust growth contributes nearly €335 billion in value-added output, constituting a substantial 19% chunk of Italy’s GDP. As per recent insights from The European House-Ambrosetti (TEHA), the Italian agri-food network garnered over €25 billion in investments in 2022, propelled by the labor of 3.7 million individuals.

In the midst of the enduring crisis landscape since 2020, punctuated by health crises and geopolitical strains, it’s the hallmark quality of Italy’s agri-food production that underpins its sustained growth,” observes Valerio De Molli, Managing Partner & CEO of The European House-Ambrosetti. “Italy stands as the primary EU nation for certified products—890 in total—with 326 hailing from the food sector (valued at €8.9 billion) and 564 from the wine sector (totaling over €11 billion).”


By the close of 2023, Italian agri-food exports, encompassing both agricultural produce and processed goods, surged to a historic high of €62.2 billion. This signifies an annual uptick of 6.4% since 2010 and a formidable 69% spike compared to 2015. The food and beverage segment commands €53.4 billion, while agriculture contributes €8.8 billion to the export tally.

In 2010,” stresses Benedetta Brioschi, Partner at The European House-Ambrosetti, “the agri-food sector accounted for 8.2% of Italy’s total exports, whereas by 2023, it nearly touched the 10% mark (9.9%), marking a 1.7 percentage point surge over the past 13 years.”

Relative to GDP, the €37 billion derived from agriculture and the €29 billion from food and beverages constitute a formidable 3.8%, surpassing Germany (2.6%) and the United Kingdom (2.1%), yet trailing behind France (4.5%) and Spain, which leads with a 5.2% share.


Despite a marginal export downturn (0.8%), wine maintains its position as the premier agri-food export, raking in €7.8 billion in foreign sales, commanding a 12.5% share of total agrifood exports. Close contenders include flour-based processed goods, including pasta, valued at €6.9 billion in overseas revenue, registering a solid 7.9% growth, outstripping dairy products at €6 billion (a 7.1% increase), alongside processed fruits and vegetables (€5.7 billion, marking double-digit growth over the past year: +11.1%).

Italian F&B exports reign supreme across several product categories worldwide: Italy leads in market share for pasta (45%), liqueurs and spirits (42%), tomato puree (27%), chestnuts (23%), and processed vegetables (20%). Italy secures second place globally in the wine market (20%, trailing France), rice flour (20%), hazelnuts (15%), apples (13%), and kiwis (12%).

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