The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) is set to make a profound statement at the Specialty Food Festival in Dubai, against the backdrop of Italian agri-food global exports reaching a historic value of 60 billion euros ($64.4 billion) in 2022.

This an increase of 17% yoy. Besides in the first quarter of 2023, Italian agri-food global exports hit 32 billion euros. Also in the UAE, the demand for Italian agri-food products reached a new record value of 419 million euros in December 2020, a growth of 40% on the previous year.

A wide sample of authentic Italian food products will be showcased next week at Speciality Food Festival 2023 (Dubai World Trade Centre, November 7 to 9) the trade fair dedicated to the fine food in the Gulfood Manufacturing where Italy, once again, will represent the one of the largest foreign participations with more than 300 exhibiting companies.

Wines and beverages

In value, the most exported Italian agri-food products both to the world and to the UAE specifically are wines and beverages (8 bln euros), pasta and cereals (7 billion euros), fresh fruits and vegetables (5.5 billion euros). A recent significant increase affected also extra virgin olive oil, cheeses and cured meats.

Organic ingredients have also widely contributed to the growth of “Made in Italy” sales around the world by reaching a record value of 3.4 billion euros in 2022: +16% compared to 2021 and 3.6 billion in 2023 (estimated), +203 % compared to 2012, an almost triple increase in value in a decade.

Italian cuisine is considered one of the best in the world thanks to its variety of tastes and healthy dishes. The high-quality ingredients along with the high safety standards throughout the food and production process contributes to its global success and reputation.

Organic food

In 2023, organic food represented a substantial 5.5% of Italy's total agricultural food exports, demonstrating the nation's commitment to sustainable and organic farming practices. Italy is a leader in promoting and exporting organic products, and this is reflected in the high share of organic exports in the agricultural food industry. This upward trajectory not only reflects a strong global demand for Italian organic products but also underscores the country's dedication to environmentally conscious farming practices.

A delicious taste of such a culinary treasury will be offered at the Italian Food Lab where Michelin Star Chefs, as well as other Italian Chefs working in most prestigious Emirati restaurants, will prepare original recipes for the Emirati public with 100% authentic and genuine Italian ingredients.

The Italian Food Lab at Speciality Food Festival 2023 is organised by ITA-Italian Trade Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Unparalleled opportunity

Lorenzo Fanara, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said: “The Speciality Food Festival of Dubai is an unparalleled opportunity for Italian businesses seeking expansion, as it provides a significant platform to promote bio-certified and sustainable agri-food products, in the global market and in the UAE. This event represents also a great chance to demonstrate Italy's commitment to sustainability, which goes hand in hand with its culinary excellence, where tradition, quality, and eco-consciousness coexist.

“In fact, Italian cuisine is globally renowned for its delightful tastes and healthy dishes, attributed to the meticulous use of high-quality ingredients and stringent safety standards throughout the production process. This year’s Festival will also coincide with the VIII edition of the Week of Italian Cuisine of the UAE, which will celebrate the richness of Italian food with many initiatives all across the UAE.”

Amedeo Scarpa, ICE/ITA Dubai Director, added: "Our successful role in promoting Italian agri-food SMEs is testified by the double digit increase of our export towards this market, where customers pay every day more and more attention about quality, safety, and authenticity of the products they eat.

Sustainability is SustainabITALY

“With a new record of 230 million euros worth of Italian agri-food products exported to this market in the first semester 2023 (+20% on the same period of 2022) and a forecast of 460 mln, that could be absolutely a record, trade relationships between Italy and the UAE are becoming stronger year after year. With the motto Sustainability is SustainabITALY, we are committed to boost Italian bio certified and sustainable products as a concrete contribution to next COP28 which will be host in the UAE next month.”

As the Food Specialty Show unfolds in Dubai, ITA invites attendees to witness firsthand how Sustainability is indeed SustainabITALY, with Italy poised to showcase its culinary excellence alongside a bold vision for a greener and more sustainable future.

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