The Italian agro-food sector finds its strength in to the districts. An industrial model that seemed entered in crisis a few years ago, but still able to exalt some productions of Made in Italy, and among these in particular the food sector thanks to the virtuous bond between territory, PDO protected designation of origin (the know-how that distinguishes us) and connective tissue of enterprises. 

The ranking of the Districts

Just scroll down the ranking 2016 of the districts which have reported the best possible economic results (growth, operating profitability, export parameters are for reference) compiled by the Intesa Sanpaolo bank, to have the proof. Is an Absolute Ranking (149 the districts in contention), which thus takes account of all sectors of the Industrial Made in Italy, in which the food & beverage soars, placing six districts in the first ten positions . More generally, the district is confirmed as a virtuous area  with a recovery ability post crisis higher than non-district areas.The signal that the union is strength, as we do not stop never repeat in the country of the thousand bell towers. The top ten of Intesa Sanpaolo is guided from the territory of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene where it produces, as is well known, the Prosecco Superiore CGDO controlled and garanteed denomination of origin . A product of the tip of the tradition of Italian “spumante”, which according to the latest data protection consortium has reached 90 million bottles, for over 40% decapped outside Italy, especially in Germany, France, United Kingdom and Switzerland but also in the USA and in Japan . All markets where grows from years the consent for this sparkling wine of hills of Treviso, which should not be confused with the product CDO controlled denomination of origin, whose area now embraces a large part of the plains of the Veneto region and a portion of Friuli. The district of Conegliano – 96 companies surveyed – has jumped in 2016 the eyewear of Belluno, second this year and after being first in 2015 and certainly not a “adversary” easy to beat, seen that inside there is the world leader Luxottica, fresh from the merger agreement with the French Essilor.

 From “prosecco” to salami sector

The numbers of success of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are absolute respect: between 2008 (year of the beginning of the long italian crisis) and 2015, the turnover of the companies monitored grew by 58% (23% glasses of Belluno), while exports rose by 135% (81%) and with an average profitability of companies that insist on the territory that exceeds 9 % at the level of EBITDA margin. In the third place there are the salami from Parma, 146 companies analyzed by the ratio of Intesa Sanpaolo , which in 2015 were “only” the 14th place in this special ranking. The “hams”, “coppe” and “culatelli” that increasingly Italian consumers and around the world, if it is true that the export between 2008 and 2015 it rose by 56 per cent. The ham of Parma is the king of Italian delicatessen inside and outside our borders and gave its contribution of value to historical goal reached in 2016: Italy has become the first exporter in the world of salami, according to the data processed by Ismea, overcoming for the first time Germany , thanks to the German consumers, that with the French and British have decreed the success of our productions, representing almost half of what has been exported. Our sales have reached 1.38 billion euro of equivalent , and the district of Parma has done its part. In the salumi sector Italy plays in the world of the role that France has in wines: that of the operator who presides over the premium market with products that have a strong link with the territory and tradition, thanks to which become well recognizable and increasingly appreciated. Other important districts  are those of the salami sector of Modena, which specialises in cooked hams and whose export is in growth despite the strong international competition, that of the Alto Adige, very openly at territorial level, that Cremona and Mantova, traditional reservoir of raw material for processing. All areas that could have further development especially in Canada thanks to the Ceta and in the United States if the process of opening up toward the italian sausages will not stop for some protectionist action.

 Wines and mozzarella, Excellencies from north to south

Not only prosecco lives the Italian enology, for what is the absolute protagonist of the last few years, given that the fourth place in the top ten is the prerogative of the wines of the colli senesi and fiorentini . In other words, the feud of Chianti, but obviously not only. Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and some supertuscan d’exception complete the range of products that have implemented in 2008/2015 +23% at the level of turnover and +63% at the level of export .

The stronger data however is the 14% Ebitda margin that the district has reached in 2015, which is well 5 points higher than that of the Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. The Chianti was the first denomination of italian wine to think of it as an industry in the modern sense and play well his cards at international level and strong in the recognition that has in the world the territory of the tuscan hills. An attitude that still allows to collect satisfactions albeit in the first nine months of 2016 exports fell by 2.6% (+14% for the prosecco CGDO same period), but who is doing the school also in the area of prosecco that asked UNESCO recognition as part of the heritage of humanity, as it has already done the Chianti that is waiting for a response. The fifth place on the first southern district, one of the Mozzarella di bufala campana POD , subject now a real food worship even abroad, where exports grew by 74% between 2008 and 2015 despite the difficulties to move this fresh product , which in the first nine months of 2016 saw further progress of cross-border sales of 10.5% , second only to that of Prosecco CGDO. Lived as a unique and inimitable product, it has also given its contribution to export of italian cheeses that in 2016 reached a record level of 2.4 billion euro. Number which puts the dairy sector after the wine for importance outside Italy.

 Other specialties

In the rank there are then preserves of Nocera to seventh place and sweet Veronesi to eighth. The other two districts with an importance in growth year on year. If the past and the present are brilliant, also in the near future should not miss the light on the districts italian food, and more generally on the districts. After a 2016 weak for the world economy, the 2017 is seen in acceleration and also the international trade is recovering. Intesa Sanpaolo has predicted a turnover growth of 4.3% in 2017-18 biennium for the total of the districts and in these circumstances the agro-industrial sector should do its part, especially if there are signs of recovery in the internal side, which now penalises our productions.




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