Italian food products are the most demanded in the world and exports in 2022 confirm strong global demand. From Paris, which has the largest number of Italian establishments in Europe, via London or New York, the demand for Italian products continues to grow.
Italian agro-food exports to the world broke a new record in 2022 with a turnover of 60.7 billion euros, an increase of 17% compared to 2021 (52 billion). Despite the war in Ukraine and international tensions over global trade in goods and services, exports continued to grow in international markets.
Germany remains the main export market with a value of $9.4 billion, ahead of the United States with $6.6 billion, and overtaking third-placed France with $6.5 billion. The UK also shows with $4.2 billion how Italian exports have proven to be stronger than the impact of Brexit, after the initial difficulties associated with its exit from the European Union.
Of all products, the king of Italian exports is confirmed to be wine with an approximate value of nearly 8 billion euros in 2022 thanks to a double-digit growth in sales abroad. In second place comes pasta and other grain derivatives, whose foreign sales volume exceeds 7 billion euros, while fresh fruits and vegetables come in third place, with about 5.5 billion euros of exports. Extra virgin olive oil, as well as cheese and deli meats, increased significantly.
The trend in international markets can be further improved by providing more effective protection against international “agricultural piracy”, which has soared to 120 billion, which has also been inflated by the war hampering trade with sanctions and embargoes. This phenomenon reinforces protectionism and multiplies the spread of fake foods that have nothing to do with Italian products.
The contribution of Italian agri-food production to the country’s exports and growth could be much higher with a clear end to international food counterfeiting.
The food industry makes up 15% of the GDP
With a turnover of more than 522 billion euros, the Italian agro-food system, from agriculture to catering, represents 15% of the national GDP, and ranks first in Europe in terms of agricultural value added. Although the national area is about half that of Spain and France, Italian agriculture asserts its European leadership. It is the first agriculture in Europe in terms of value added and the third in terms of total market production. Italy is the world’s first producer of wine by volume (France by value) and the first European producer by value of vegetable production.