Italian trade delegation visit launches 'Made in Italy' campaign

Campaign to educate Canadians about "Italian-sounding" food & wine imitations

TORONTO, March 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Hosted by the Italian Trade Commission, the largest ever trade delegation from Italy will visit Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver this week to promote original "Made in Italy" foods and wines. The trade mission to Canada supports the 2015 "Made in Italy" campaign, a consumer education campaign to help Canadians better understand the differences between original and "Italian-sounding" foods.

The trade delegation of over 70 Italian food and wine producers representing all of Italy will showcase their products for the benefit of Canadian supermarket chain buyers, importers, agents, food brokers, wine agencies, distributors and media. Italian Agriculture Food and Forestry Policies Vice Minister and Trade Delegation Chair, Senator Andrea Olivero, will be discussing the growth of Italian-sounding products and their economic impact in Canada and around the world.

"Every time consumers buy a food product that sounds Italian but is not, they are effectively being misled," says Italian Trade Commissioner to Canada, Pasquale Bova. "Italian-sounding imitations are not the same as certified Made in Italy products, because they are not subject to the same strict standards of production which determine the characteristics that make original Made in Italy products world-renowned."

The worldwide market for Italian-sounding products is estimated at over $82 billion CAD, more than double the size of the Italian agri-food export market. Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are some of the largest consumers of Italian-sounding products, with Canada alone buying $3.6 billion every year.

Italian-sounding foods are not crafted in Italy but display Italian names. The foods that are most affected by Italian-sounding unfair competition are pasta, cured meats, canned foods, olive oils, balsamic vinegars and cheeses. Italian-sounding foods imitate original Made in Italy products in their labelling, packaging and presentation. Food safety is a worldwide concern and will be highlighted in the upcoming Milan Expo 2015 "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" where country-of-origin food labelling is one of the items on the international food cooperation agenda, which aims to ensure the quality and safety of globally distributed authentic foods.

Canada is one of the top ten worldwide destinations for Made in Italy food & beverage exports. Italy is Canada's top EU agri-food supplier and Canada's 4th largest worldwide food & wine supplier after the US, Mexico and China. Italy's agri-food supplies to Canada, excluding alcoholic beverages, rank 7th globally. The European Union has three certification systems in place to protect original EU foods and wines: DOP (Protected Designation of Origin); IGP (Protected Geographical Indication); and TSG (Traditional Specialty Guarantee) which refer to geographical origin and the highest standards of traditional modes of production. Italy is home to 25 per cent of all certified European DOP products. The purpose of DOP, IGP and TSG certifications is to safeguard traditional regional foods, to promote rural and agricultural development, and protect original foods from unfair competition. The certifications help consumers discern between original products and imitations.

The 2015 Made in Italy campaign will run nationwide throughout the year, and the Delegation of food & wine companies from Italy will visit Canada between March 23 and March 27.

About ITC:
The Italian Trade Commission (ITC) is an Italian government agency entrusted with the promotion and internationalization of Italian products and companies. ITC provides Italian companies with information, support and advice to export their products and services abroad, and provides foreign companies with information, support and advice to import products and services from Italy. Headquartered in Rome, Italy, ITC operates a worldwide network of Trade Promotion Offices linked to Italian embassies and consulates located in major cities that work closely with local authorities and businesses. ITC provides a wide range of services overseas helping Italian and foreign businesses connect with each other: consulting to identify business partners; bilateral trade meetings with Italian companies; trade delegation visits; official participation in local fairs, exhibitions and seminars with industrial and economic experts. For more information on ITC-Canada, please visit: http://www.italtrade.com/countries/americas/canada_en/index.htm

SOURCE Italian Trade Commission

For further information: To learn more about Italian agri-food exports to Canada or the promotion of "Made in Italy" products in Canada in 2015, please contact Lauren Wasley, energi PR, T:416.425.9143 ext. 19, E: lauren.wasley@energipr.com

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Italian Trade Commission

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