Agriculture is one of the key sectors of Italy’s economy. The agriculture sector is typical of the northern & southern division found within the European Union (EU). The northern part of country produces mainly soybean, meat, grains, and dairy products, while the southern section produces fruits & vegetables, wine, olive oil, and durum wheat. Italy has an expanded modern economy with generally a similar aggregate and per capita yield as France or the United Kingdom. Italian food-processing industries rely heavily on imports of raw materials. Italy is one of the leading agricultural producers and food processors in the EU.
Italy's rich soil makes it possible to develop wheat, grapes, rice, corn, olives and tomatoes Italy utilizes a larger part of these harvests, but the country is a major exporter of rice. People use hard wheat to make the pasta, and use soft wheat to produce pizza crust and bread. Two of the most successful agricultural exports out of country are wine and olives made from Italian grapes.
As per study, “Italy Agriculture Market Trends, Statistics, Growth, and Forecasts” the Italian government aggressively supported the agriculture sector through mechanisms that allows farmers to have a best opinion of their revenues as well as plan for the next agricultural season accordingly. Italy is distinguished by high heterogeneity in the territorial characteristics, including an extensive range of climatic & ecologic conditions (mountains, lowlands, coastal and internal areas, as well as rather fertile & almost arid areas) and production of vegetables & horticultural products. Apart from this, Italian agriculture sector is facing challenging trends and the complete lack of government vision & governance. In this situation, the subsistence of small scale sustainable farmers which are the foundation of local & sustainable food production and the custodians of country’s food history and craft is under threat.
Moreover, rapid technological development is a key opportunity for Italian agriculture sector. The advent of new machines & tools for agriculture, such as proximal sensors, satellites, drones, software and robotics are bringing various benefits both in agronomic & economic terms. Most imported agriculture products enter the Italian market through dealers or specialized traders. Imported agriculture products from the North-American region often enter in the country via the Netherlands' Port of Rotterdam or directly by air. Wholesalers are the main clients for fish & seafood products, as they purchase & distribute to various small restaurants or hotels. The immense majority of the processed food & raw material sourcing choices are made directly by the restaurant chef or hotel food purchasing director. Hotels, restaurants, and catering companies tend to rely on wholesalers, importers, and food manufacturers, while trattorias & pizzerias purchase directly from huge retail food outlets. While there are numerous category associations for the hotel & food service sectors, each establishment operates independently when it comes to the sourcing decisions.
The Italian agriculture market continues to be enormously fragmented, and depends entirely on the imports of raw materials, many of which come from other European countries. It is expected that future of the market will be bright owing to increase in consumer preference towards fresh products rather than canned or frozen during the forecast period.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications