Gastronomy is a mirror of a people’s culture, and today, this culture cannot disregard respect for values and principles related to environmental sustainability. World Sustainable Gastronomy Day, celebrated on June 18, promotes the importance of choosing food that respects the environment and promotes agricultural development, food security and the preservation of biodiversity.

Established by the United Nations Assembly on December 21, 2016, it aims to raise awareness among the world’s population about the importance of food as a resource and cultural expression, about the risks of its wastage, and to remind the world of the importance of choosing environmentally friendly food, to promote agricultural development, food security, sustainable food production, responsible consumption, and biodiversity conservation. Sustainable food also plays a key role in achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda, and World Sustainable Food Day is the right occasion to reflect on how much has been done and how much more needs to be done starting in our country.

Italy leading sustainable organic sector, driven by increasingly aware consumers

Italy, with more than 2 million hectares, is a leader in the organic sector: it boasts the highest percentage of organic areas out of the total, 19% compared to 11% in Germany and Spain, and 10% in France, and it holds the record in the EU for the number of organic producers. A sector that maintains, therefore, a key role in the Italian agri-food chain with a domestic market that is close to 5.4 billion euros and an export of Made in Italy organic products that reaches 3.6 billion.*

Sustainability and attention to the environment are, therefore, key determinants of purchasing behavior. In the past 5 years, 1 in 2 Italians said they are more frequently adopting more sustainable consumption choices, and 2 in 3 Italians said they are paying increasing attention to the purchase of food and beverage products with sustainability features. As if to say that reducing climate impact also goes through the shopping cart.

Among the organic products that have registered an increase in sales are preserved fruits with +33.6 percent and bananas with +25.5 percent, and again eggs (+9.7 percent), galettes (+4.4 percent) and fruit-based jams and spreads (+6.2 percent).

The main destination markets for Italian organic foods, which, let’s remember, record sales of 3.6 billion euros, include Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Scandinavian countries in Europe, while outside the EU they are in demand in the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and China. Consumers in these countries are willing to pay considerably higher figures of in order to have the quality of Italian organic products on their tables.

As of 2019, ITA0039 | 100% Italian Taste Certification enhances the aspects of sustainability and safeguarding the wholesomeness of food by rewarding restaurateurs and producers who share the same “foodlosophy.”

The ITA0039 certification guarantees in every corner of the world the quality and sustainability of Italian food in international markets, through the network of Italian restaurants around the world. Created to promote the defense of Italy’s food heritage, this certification provides a guarantee of wholesomeness and safety for consumers, added value for restaurateurs and help for Italian producers.

The ITA0039 app represents, then, an effective knowledge and safeguard tool. At the same time, it performs the fourfold task of being of service to restaurants (menu, map, reservation), provides a realistic and global “from the shelf” observation point on the products on the market, renders an information-education service to the citizens of the world admirers of Italian agri-food products and, last but not least, performs an effective service to protect Italian producers, directing the consumer’s purchase towards healthy and sustainable products, the result of responsible and 100% Made in Italy production.

*Nomisma research data