“The worst style arises when one imitates something and at the same time it cared to make it known that one felt superior to what one imitated,” Von Hofmannsthal stated.
The life of the top of the class is not an easy one, a road studded with recognition and laurels, but also with many snubs and low blows. There is perhaps no better metaphor to explain the phenomena of counterfeiting and Italian Sounding, of which Italy is a constant victim.
The apotheosis of counterfeiting is quite recent and comes from Latvia, where the food sector has been united with the music one, giving life to the Måneskin impersonators who promote a look-alike of mozzarella cheese, the Formagia.
“Tik labi ka italija frormagia mokarellas siers padara visu labaku! …pat saldetu picu”, which translated means: “As good as in Italy, Formagia mozzarella makes everything better! …Even frozen pizza”.
Cheese is the most imitated Italian product abroad. As much as 99% of dairy products are fake Italian in the USA (Coldiretti data), with mozzarella taking first place.
A percentage that leaves one stunned, but which is accompanied – fortunately – by good news: outside Europe, the USA is also the main market for cheese, where exports have grown by 12%. A goal reached also thanks to the coming into force of the agreement between Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Joe Biden, US President, in March 2021. Italy is running fast not only in Tokyo, but also in the cheese export market with a +7.5% at global level, based on ISTAT data for the first four months of 2021.
This achievement is certainly the result of the work of many producers, such as the Consorzio di Tutela della Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Dop, which recently celebrated its fortieth anniversary. A life dedicated to the diffusion and promotion of what is today the fourth most purchased PDO product, but also to its protection, creating over the years real task forces to find counterfeits and frauds.
Currently, mainly because of the pandemic, the web has become the elected place to host the Italian Sounding, a perfect place to sell counterfeit products. Facebook and Instagram in fact have become, in recent years, easy showcases where anyone can put on display their Extra-Fresh Mozzarella 100% Italian, but produced in Japan. The losers are mainly foreign consumers who, being less experienced, are the perfect bait. According to the Consorzio di Tutela, out of two thousand links with references to Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, 183 have been classified as harmful.
Keeping your guard up becomes an imperative. To achieve this goal, ASACERT has put in the hands of all consumers and admirers of good and healthy Italian food, a tool that can ensure the defense and enhancement of the true Italian spirit in the world: the App ITA0039. The idea stems from the desire to give prominence to honest producers who make of authenticity and genuineness their unparalleled added value.
But that’s not all: if on one hand the App wants to enhance the value of Italian products, on the other it wants to create a support network between producers, restaurateurs and especially consumers, who become sentinels of the real Made in Italy. Through a feature of the App it is possible to scan the barcode of a product to confirm whether or not it is really Italian. If the result is negative, a report will be sent to the technical committee of ITA0039, which will activate the necessary verification procedure on the suspected fake product.
With this app, the pride that Italians show for their cuisine will be transformed into concrete action, contributing to the creation of an archive of reports, photos and reviews useful to connoisseurs around the world.
What are you waiting for? Do your part!