With the blessings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio (connected live), and the strong endorsement of the Vice-Director of Radio 24 Sebastiano Barisoni, moderator of the session, at the PWC headquarters in Milan a presentation was made for the trade fair project of Host Milano + TuttoFood, which from 22 to 26 October will welcome the worlds of food and hospitality to Fiera Milano Rho.
“The numbers do the talking, and they are provided by PWC: in 1990 the Italian agri-food industry had exports of 15 billion euros, and this year that figure is expected to reach 50 billion. But whereas in the 1990s, over and above the 15 billion, there were 30 billion euros of “Italian-sounding” products on the market (a term to indicate fakes), today above the 50 billion mark there are 100 billion euros of fake products. So the data can be read in two ways: on one side there is the forceful growth of Italian agri-food on international markets, while on the other we can see the extraordinary continuation of a trend (fakes spring up where sales are probable) that implies a challenge, that of protecting and promoting our original heritage and identity.” This is how Sebastiano Barisoni began the encounter with Luca Palermo (CEO of Fieramilano), Andrea Toselli (CEO of PWC) and Carlo Ferro (President of ICE).
Barisoni did not only talk about numbers. He remarked on the choice of uniting the two fairs Host and TuttoFood, saying that “the success of Made in Italy is due to the quality of raw materials and the abilities of the chain of production, but above all to the role of Italian restaurants around the world, which concretely promote original products. This is why the pairing of Host with TuttoFood represents an important strategic choice that brings concrete potential.”
Another piece of good news, which extends to all the parts of the economy where exports are a key factor, is the rebirth of ICE (ITA Italian Trade Agency): from a resource substantially lacking in central coordination and an overall strategy, it is becoming a thinking, operative entity that helps to reinforce the ranks of representation in the world, while also boosting the economic resources it can call into play.
Reorganized and more transparent thanks to the efforts of the Ministry, today ICE is helmed by Carlo Ferro, a manager arriving from the private sector, with international positions that make him a high-profile presence. Together with the Undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano (who also took part in the session), he has turned the agency’s old structure inside-out, creating a more agile, attentive organization, which in the specific case of Host and TuttoFood as invested 2.5m euros to support the influx of key professional figures for the success of the event: namely buyers.
Host Milano and TuttoFood arrive during a positive phase for the Italian agri-food industry. There are specific energies and synergies that gravitate around this event and this sector, boosted by a public agency that – finally – should begin to effectively function.