Italian food exports were up by 8% in the first eight months of 2023 and are on track to surpass 2022’s record-breaking value of €60.7 billion by the end of the year, Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti announced on Friday.
The new findings, culled from ISTAT data on foreign trade, were presented at Rome’s Palazzo della Farnesina as part of kickoff events for the 8th annual Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs-backed initiative running from November 13 to 19 at Italian embassies, consulates and cultural institutes across the globe.
The market for Made in Italy foodstuffs is seeing particular growth in France (where exports grew by 13.5% compared to last year), Germany (11.3%) and the United Kingdom (11.2%).
Coldiretti representatives expressed concern, however, about a slight dip (by 2.5%) in the United States, the main market for Italian food exports outside of European Union borders.
Worldwide, the most popular agro-food product from Italy is still wine, beating out fresh produce, pasta, cheese, olive oil and cured meats, though those staples are never short on market demand, either.
Though the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World celebrates many of these beloved products through thousands of meals, festivals, talks and cultural events, the initiative also seeks to raise awareness of the international counterfeit Italian food circuit, worth €120 billion. Without the economic and reputational damage caused by the black market, experts, including Coldiretti President Ettore Prandini, have estimated that Italian food exports could triple in value and volume.