What kind of Christmas will Christmas 2021 be? A question that the Italian population, or rather the world, has been asking for a long time. It will certainly be “freer” holidays, less uncertain than last year, but certainly not carefree.
The advancing of contagions, the new variants, new measures and restrictions, green passes and super green passes, the doses of boosters, the lack of buffers: the thoughts that crowd our minds when, until a few years ago, it was the dinner and the gifts that worried us.
A situation in which Italians don’t feel like crossing borders for the winter vacations. The limits at the borders ruin the celebrations outside the Belpaese for 2.1 million Italians*. Goodbye to New Year’s Eve in the European capitals, difficult to eat the 12 grapes in Plaza del Sol in Madrid, or wait for the stroke of midnight under the Eiffel Tower. Italians will remain at home, perhaps looking for a little ‘tranquility at typical villages or destinations reachable by car, avoiding crowding the train cars.
The same cannot be said of the Italian agricultural and food production that, instead, flies abroad overcoming all the logistical obstacles, including Brexit. According to a projection by Coldiretti based on ISTAT data on foreign trade for the month of December 2021, it is a historical record for Made in Italy food products on holiday tables around the world. To dominate the export are in fact the typical products of Christmas: wines and sparkling wines (+29%), panettone (+25%), cheese (+12%), hams, sausages and salami (+12%), stuffed pastas such as tortellini (+4%), but also caviar Made in Italy that depopulated even in Russia of the beluga (+146%).
The success of foreign trade demonstrates the incredible resilience of Italian agro-foods which, if it maintains the current trend, will close the year with a total of 52 billion in exports, the highest ever recorded. Italian producers have continued to produce despite the difficulties linked to Covid, guaranteeing supplies of food products on the tables of Italians and all over the world.
However, there is no shortage of problems, especially on the non-EU front: exports to the UK suffered a slight drop of 4%, the Omicron variant that hit the UK hard being the culprit, but also the complex post-Brexit bureaucracy. Increased transport costs, delays, customs procedures and increased controls constitute a real handbrake for the export machine towards UK.
The difficulties in the relationship between Great Britain and the European Union risk, moreover, to favour the arrival of counterfeit food and drinks that do not comply with EU safety standards. Great Britain – Coldiretti argues – could become the trojan horse for the arrival of the false Made in Italy that in the world invoice 100 billion and that see among the major counterfeiters the USA, with which the British are negotiating a privileged trade agreement, but also Canada and Australia that are part of the Commonwealth.
In spite of this, the Brits are confirmed lovers of good italian food. A few days ago, the British supermarket group Waitrose recorded a 59% increase in panettone sales compared to 2020. At least the British know what panettone is. It has caused a stir on the web a tweet last week in which someone from Germany called it a “giant muffin” risking to ignite a conflict with our German neighbors.
To underline the words of Ettore Prandini, president of Coldiretti: “The global emergency caused by Covid has brought out a widespread awareness of the strategic value represented by food and the necessary guarantees of quality and safety. Italy can count on a world-class resource but must invest to overcome the present fragility, defend food sovereignty and reduce dependence on foreign supplies at a time of great international tensions.
A thought, that of Coldiretti, shared by ASACERT and concretized in the Protocol ITA0039 100% Italian Taste Certification, which sees the two realities in an active partnership for some time now.
The careful work of certification of Italian restaurants in the world aims to protect, thanks to the use of the APP ITA0039, the entire Italian food chain, from production to culinary processing of raw materials, ensuring and certifying the true Italian restaurants abroad, creating a virtuous connection between producers, restaurateurs and consumers. The certification developed by ASACERT favors the promotion of true Italian restaurants and the protection of Italian food excellence, through the fight against food counterfeiting and the contrast of phenomena related to Italian Sounding.
With the help of its partners and its Network, the certification ITA0039 | 100% Italian Taste has become an instrument of recognizability and authenticity, but it is also an expression of values such as honesty, wholesomeness and transparency to guarantee the choices of all the connoisseurs and loyal consumers who every day welcome in their homes the real Made in Italy.
In short, in a period like the holiday season, families all over the world gather around the warmth of the table. A table that we hope will be as authentic as possible. And as the soundtrack of a famous TV commercial said some time ago, “it’s Christmas and at Christmas you can do more”, including choosing 100% Italian Taste.
Scan the barcode with the ITA0039 app and make sure you’re buying Italian authenticity.