3 Italian Products That You Should Buy Despite Coronavirus Lockdown.

Parmigiano-Reggiano

The Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano is an Italian hard, granular cheese that is dubbed the King of Cheeses. The production process is time-intensive and takes between 12-36 months to fully age. As such, production must be done daily, all year. The recent hit of the Coronavirus pandemic on Italy has brought several of its top-grossing industries to their knees. The national football league, Serie A, for example, is one affected space. To mitigate the loss in those sectors, the food production division must be supported to remain at full operation. Parmigiano-Reggiano is an important export product enjoyed in France, The US, Canada, and Germany. This makes up to 40% of the total produced stash with the remaining 60% consumed locally. Halting the production process has some serious compounding effects on the supply chain sustainability and on the 2,820 milk producers who supply milk to the Parmigiano-Reggiano dairies. To get a good idea, approximately 1.92million tons of milk, equivalent to 15.9% of the entire Italian dairy production was used in these factories in 2018.

In response, the Parmigiano-Reggiano consortium has stepped in to ensure that this industry does not come to a halt. Nicola Bertinelli, the president of the consortium, placed an emergency rescue call upon the ministry of agriculture and on the EU policies to waiver the Parmigiano-Reggiano factories. He requested for the exemption of the Parmigiano-Reggiano workforce from the health emergency PDOs as required by the law in section 1151/2012. This is set to avoid closure of dairies and farms.

This move is timely as the consortium president brought to light the fact that EU nations and other countries outside the union are taking advantage of the crisis to deploy unhealthy competitive strategies. He adds that its unfair competition from both the legal and ethical point of view. Reggio, Parma, M0dena, and Mantua are some of the most affected provinces by COVID-19 and are home to 330 dairies. As such, it’s not possible to stay immune from the virus and operations must go on. Furthermore, the European Food Safety Authority has confirmed no evidence that food is a source or likely transmission path of COVID-19.

Bertinelli conveyed that all dairies have adopted government measures to limit contagion, especially the 1M social distancing requirement. Upon approval of the request, this will see a €1.4B, 50,000-player niche flourishing again.

Amarone della Valpolicella

As of 2019, Made in Italy wine had enjoyed growing success and popularity. A 3.4% increase in turnover equivalent to €5.3B was recorded in 2019. This corresponds to about 22 million hectoliters of marketed wine. The US, which is the main importer of Italian wine, contributed to this growth along with Russia and Latvia. This was heavily encouraged by the duty exemption on Italian products which allowed them to beat Spanish and French wines, which have additional fees tagged along. It was all bliss until the COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy, hard! The fear of contagion has posed a great threat to the industry as a whole. Home and away, logistics has been a huge challenge. The closure of areas of consumption of these wines such as bars and restaurants has further stagnated the industry. Important fairs and dedicated events have been canceled to contain the spread of the virus adding to the hit. The Chengdu wine fair in chine, vinexpo in Hongkong and Prowein in Dusseldorf are among the most potent clienteles who have been locked out. This is just to mention a few.

The Amarone della Valpolicella is a line of luxury Italian wines produced in the Valpolicella, a hilly area in the province of Verona, in Veneto. Its distinct “bitter” tastes available in dry and full-bodied red recipes, has won a top spot in the international market. In 2019, the sales of Amarone della Valpolicella to the USA, Germany, Canada, China, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland had seen a 4% growth. A compelling 6% growth was also witnessed in the local market. Combined, the annual turnover stood at about €350m.

Note that a huge number of families and workers depend on the production of this wine spread across 8,300 hectares and 19 municipalities. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has significantly slowed the consumption of the Amarone della Valpolicella. However, the world can and should continue to consume Made in Italy wine to help deal with the emergency. With hopes of a win over the virus, Amarone della Valpolicella may surpass its current top 5 best wines in the oriental market

Italian Salumi

This is a world-renowned Italian cold cut predominantly made from pork. With a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Italian products, the Salumi is completely safe and cannot be a transmission medium or cause of the COVID-19. The spread of the virus is mainly conveyed by respiratory secretions from affected persons. COVID-19 can propagate very quickly through the air. While that is certain, the amount of time the virus may last on surfaces is not known. Estimates suggest a few hours. This comes from a report that inbound parcels from china have been declared harmless as the virus does no survive the heat exposure during the duration of the journey.

For the Italian Salumi, safety is assured. Here’s why- the cured meat contains a microbial community such as the salumi molds which create a hostile habitat for the virus. Therefore, you can support the Italian people by buying the Salumi especially from the affected areas of Parma ham, Culatello, Salame Felino and San Daniele. This is much needed as slaughterhouses are working with about 20-25% fewer pigs, coupled with minimum labor and stringent logistics as reported by Claudio Veronesi, a pig farmer from Sustinente. According to Thomas Ronconi, the President of ANAS (National Association of Pig breeders), a wider policy needs to be enforced by collaborating with the EU. He proposes legislation and means that allow for the storage of fresh meat and thighs, which cannot make it to the market until a quick redesign of the supply chain is completed. Less than a week ago the market fell to €1,452 per kilogram resulting in a significant drop in consumption in the hotel, restaurants and catering segments. This is a result of the lockdown. As a result, there was a surplus of at least 2 million legs at the time of writing this article. While the ham boasts the largest consumption, the diminishing prices are closely tagged to the aforementioned thighs. To help support the players in this industry, the world is urged to choose Italian meat and PDO hams for their top-notch quality and careful preparation process.