Italy, celebrated for its culinary traditions, is making headlines for its commitment to sustainability. The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) is all set to make a profound statement at The Specialty Food Festival in Dubai, where they will spotlight Italy’s journey towards becoming a greener and more sustainable nation.
Italian agri-food products demand in UAE
Italian agri-food global exports reached an impressive milestone, with a historic value of 60 billion euros in 2022. This marks a significant increase of 17% year on year.
The upward trend continued in the first half of 2023, with exports reaching a staggering 32 billion euros. Moreover, the UAE has shown an ever-growing demand for Italian agri-food products.
In December 2020, this demand reached a new record value of 419 million euros, marking a remarkable 40% growth compared to the previous year.
Specialty Food Festival 2023 in Dubai
The Specialty Food Festival 2023, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from November 7 to 9, will serve as a stage for a wide array of authentic Italian food products.
Italy, once again, will be a prominent foreign participant at this trade fair, with more than 300 exhibiting companies.
The event will showcase Italy’s most exported agri-food products to the world and, specifically, the UAE. These include pasta and cereals (7 billion euros), fresh fruits and vegetables (5.5 billion euros) and others.
In recent times, extra virgin olive oil, cheeses, and cured meats have also witnessed a significant surge in exports.
Made in Italy
Organic ingredients have played a significant role in boosting “Made in Italy” sales worldwide. In 2022, they achieved a record value of 3.4 billion euros, marking a remarkable 16% increase compared to 2021.
Projections for 2023 estimate an even higher value of 3.6 billion euros, which would represent a staggering 203% increase compared to 2012. This remarkable growth underscores Italy’s dedication to environmentally conscious farming practices.
Italy’s role in promoting organic products
Italian cuisine is renowned for its variety of tastes and healthy dishes. The high-quality ingredients and rigorous safety standards throughout the food production process contribute to Italy’s global success and reputation.
In 2023, organic food accounted for a substantial 5.5% of Italy’s total agricultural food exports. This demonstrates Italy’s unwavering commitment to sustainable and organic farming practices, making it a leader in promoting and exporting organic products.
The significant share of organic exports in the agricultural food industry reflects both strong global demand for Italian organic products and Italy’s dedication to environmentally conscious farming practices.
Italian Food Lab: A Delicious Taste of Italy in Dubai
At the Speciality Food Festival 2023, the Italian Food Lab, organized by the ITA-Italian Trade Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will offer the Emirati public a delectable experience.
Michelin Star Chefs, alongside other Italian Chefs working in prestigious Emirati restaurants, will prepare original recipes using 100% authentic and genuine Italian ingredients. It’s a culinary treasure waiting to be explored, demonstrating Italy’s dedication to culinary excellence and sustainability.
Lorenzo Fanara, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE
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
Amedeo Scarpa, ICE/ITA Dubai Director, added “Our successful role in promoting Italian agri-food SME’s 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.
“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 hosted 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.