Food craftsmanship and excellent food made in Calabria, exports for 261 million euros

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By John

In 2023, the last twelve months in August, the Made in Italy food and beverage industry will rise to 52.8 billion euros, equal to 8.8% of Italian manufacturing exports, confirming the historic maximum of 2.6% of GDP. In our region, the value of food and drink exports in the last 12 months amounts to 261 million euros, equal to 36.2% of manufacturing exports, the highest % weight recorded among the regions. At the provincial level, exports of these products represent over half of the total manufacturing exports in Crotone (78%), Cosenza (66.4%), and Vibo Valentia (54.9%).

This is what emerges in the report of the MPI Confartigianato Calabria Observatory – elaborated on Istat data – on the matter to food craftsmanship and the excellence of food made in Calabria.

The inflationary flare-up has reduced the purchasing power of families, penalizing consumption. In the second quarter of 2023, household spending stagnated (+0.2%), but there was a 2.3% decline in spending on non-durable goods, which include food.

In the first nine months of 2023, the volume of retail sales of food products recorded a decline of 4.4%, more marked than the -3.5% of non-food goods. The weight of inflation on family budgets has repercussions on consumer confidence, which recorded a return to growth in November, after four months of consecutive declines.

In November, according to preliminary data, inflation showed a sharp decline, falling to +0.8%, a figure not seen since March 2021. A contribution to the slowdown in inflation is also due to the new deceleration in the growth rate of food prices (+6.1%, it was +6.3% in October), which puts a brake on the annual growth of the prices of the “shopping cart” (+5.8%, it was +6, 1% in October).

The export dynamics in the first half of 2023 is preceded by a positive sign and is equal to +22.5%, a result which places it second in the national ranking after Basilicata. We observe better performances compared to the regional one for Reggio Calabria (+33%), which contributes to 43% of the region’s food and drink exports and for Cosenza (+28.6%).

Quality products with the DOP, IGP and STG brands and traditional agri-food products – The appreciation of products made in Calabria on international markets is supported by the quality and variety of food and drink goods. As of 13 November 2023 (Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, 2023) there are 21 quality Calabrian food products recognized by the European Union through the DOC (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and STG.

The PDOs concentrate over half (66.7%) of the products, equal to 14, the PGIs make up the remaining 33.3%, equal to 7 products. In detail, 33.3% of the products are represented by 7 fruit, vegetables and cereals, followed by 4 meat products (19%) and 4 oils and fats (19%).

The richness of our territory is also expressed in 270 traditional agri-food products, characterized by processing, conservation and seasoning methods consolidated over time (Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, 2023b). By type of product, fresh pasta and bakery, biscuit, pastry and confectionery products stand out with 87 products, equal to 32.2% of the total, followed by 74 vegetable products in their natural or processed state, equal to 27%. 4% of the total and from 28 fresh meats (and offal) and their preparation, equal to 10.4%: these three types of products concentrate a good 70% of the total.

The craftsmanship of food, drinks and catering – Crafts in the food, beverage and catering sectors (Ateco 2007 divisions 10,11 and 56) in Calabria have 2,825 active artisan businesses, 12% of the area’s craftsmanship with 8,593 employees. Our region ranks 3rd, after Sardinia and Sicily, due to the high weight of workers in the food, drink and catering sector on the total economy (3.1% vs 1.5% nationally). Furthermore, among the top 11 provinces at national level for the highest incidence of employees in the sectors in question on the total economy are: Reggio Calabria (4.6%), in 2nd place, and Vibo Valentia (3.9%), in 8th.