The Italian food sector continues to grow and will present the results achieved and plans for the future at Cibus 2018 (in Parma from 7 to 10 May, organized by Fiere di Parma and Federalimentare), whose programme was presented to the press.
The food industry turnover reached 137 billion euros, showing a growth of 3.8%; exports grew by over 6% and now amount to a total of 41 billion euros, 32 billion of which were for finished products (2017 data, Federalimentare and CibusExport Observatory). With food consumption still weak in Italy, exports become increasingly more important. Exports are growing in all areas; there is finally a recovery of exports to Russia, Spain and South America, while there continues to be very strong growth in North America and Asia. The best-performing products in 2017 were again cheeses, deli meats, confectionery and sparkling wines, with special flours, ready meals, dietary preparations, spirits and mineral waters showing good rates of growth.
In the Year of Italian Food, the agri-food sector will be celebrating the results achieved and will present new products to the 19th edition of Cibus. 3,100 exhibitors will be attending (100 more than in the 2016 edition); over 135,000 sqm of exhibition space (an increase of 5,000 sqm in comparison to the 2016 edition thanks to the construction of a new temporary pavilion); 80,000 professional visitors are expected, 20% of whom from abroad and, among the latter, 2,500 top buyers; there will also be about 1300 journalists, the leading Italian newspapers and TV channels as well as specialized magazines.
One thousand new products will be on display at Cibus: a list will be published on the Cibus.it website at the end of April. A selection of 100 of the most innovative products will be displayed in the Cibus Innovation Corner, a new exhibition and meeting area. There will be even more chefs cooking new products for visitors to taste, both at the different stands and in the Food Courts dedicated to typical regional products. The wide range of designation of origin products will be displayed by the protection Consortia in the AICIG (Italian Association of Geographical Indication Consortia) area.
Current food trends will emerge from the exhibition and the conferences: the continued growth of health products, but also of ready meals; consumer demand focus on both premium products and low cost ones.
Through round table discussions, conferences, seminars, workshops and talks, Cibus will provide an opportunity to address the most relevant current issues: biotechnologies and scientific research in the food sector; innovation and sustainability; prevention of food waste; fake news in the food sector; promotion of Italian products abroad; the scourge of Italian sounding; physical stores and online sales, and what the store of the future will be like; marketing frontiers in stores; novelty foods (insects and cultivated meat); where packaging ends up; chefs as influencers; and more.
The Fuori Salone event in the city, CIBUS OFF, will take place from 1 to 13 May in Piazza Garibaldi in Parma, and will be part of the organization of “Parma City of Gastronomy” promotion activities.
“Cibus means tradition and innovation, and it is with this formula that we wish to present Italy’s extraordinary agri-food heritage – said Andrea Oliver, the Deputy Minister for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies in a press conference. – On the occasion of Expo2015, the
Government set the target of 50 billion euros in exports by 2020 and we are pleased to find that we are on schedule to achieve this ambitious objective. With the Year of Italian Food initiative, 2018 certainly represents an opportunity to focus on the great cultural patrimony that distinguishes us and to contribute to the economic growth of a strategic sector for the economy of our country.”
Antonio Ferraioli, Vice Presidente of Federalimentare (which will hold its general assembly at Cibus) presented the current state of the agri-food sector: “This is the year we celebrate Italian food and the sector data fully supports this important celebration. After 2017, the year in which we finally left the economic crisis behind, 2018 has confirmed the agri-food sector as the leading one in the Italian economy, growing more and better than other sectors, and this is why promoting our Made in Italy products must be central not only to our Italian policies, but also to those in Brussels, where the battles are played out that decide our competitiveness.”
This argument was also stressed by Gian Domenico Auricchio, President of Fiere di Parma: “Therefore, in the business sector, Cibus will be the climactic expression of the Year of Italian Food. It is a unique exhibition in the international scene that best showcases the excellence of Italian agri-food production and has always been the favourite platform for the export of domestic products to all target markets.”
The ICE Agency’s commitment to food exports was underlined by Ines Aronadio, Manager of the Ice Agency Office for the Coordination of Made in Italy Promotion: “Exports have recorded an increase of 7% over the previous year and in view of the celebration of 2018 as the Year of Italian Food, the ICE Agency, thanks to its widespread network of offices abroad and the experience developed in over 90 years of Made in Italy promotion activities, is even more focused on seizing opportunities in foreign markets for Italian SMEs. On the occasion of Cibus 2018, we will have the record attendance of 370 carefully selected buyers invited by our network abroad, in agreement
with Fiere di Parma.”