Wine & food exports to China in 2021 grew + 40%, overall, compared to 2020, but the first quarter of 2022 has opened at -18% decrease (-9% for wine, according to Federvini’s Nomisma data). Consequently, in a country that boasts one of the largest economies in the world, though it is still dealing with a very strict policy against the Covid 19 Pandemic (cities like Shanghai and Beijing are still inaccessible from abroad, and blanket Covid checks are almost a daily event), it is even more important to promote and reverse the trend. And so, while waiting for “Wine to Asia” organized by Vinitaly, which should take place, after repeated rescheduling, in Shenzen, August 26-28th, the first roadshow dedicated to Italian agro-food excellence started on June 24th in Guangzhou, following the long lockdown period. It is titled, “Food & Wine Journey - Introducing Italian Culinary Excellencies”, and will tour five cities organized by ICE, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with ICE in China, and Wine to Asia.
After stopping in Guangzhou, the tour visited Dongguan (June 27th), Shenzhen (June 29th), Changsha (June 30th) and will end in Xiamen (July 2nd). Twenty-six Italian products are the stars of the Geographic Indications agreement signed between the European Union and China effective starting in March 2021, namely: Balsamic vinegar of Modena, Asiago, Asti, Barbaresco, Bardolino Superiore, Barolo, Brachetto d’Acqui, Bresaola della Valtellina, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Conegliano-Valdobbiadene-Prosecco, Dolcetto d’Alba , Franciacorta, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Grappa, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Buffalo Mozzarella from Campania, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Parma ham, San Daniele ham, Soave, Taleggio, TGI Toscana and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. More than 50 wineries, 20 wine importers and 10 food products are participating in the activities as partners in the initiative promoted by ICE Canton in southern China. At each stage Italian and Chinese chefs will host cooking shows and present dishes using PGI products. There will be tastings and business to business meetings with importers, distributors, group buying purchasers, professionals in the HORECA sector, media, and more. The tour is taking place in one of the most strategic areas for China's future, the Great Bay Area, counting 200 million inhabitants. It has the highest per capita income in the Country (which Simone Incontro, General Manager Greater China Shanghai Representative Office for Veronafiere Spa), “monitors”.
Massimiliano Tremiterra, Director of the Guangzhou ICE Office, said, “the Chinese and Italian culinary cultures are two of the most important world wide. It is essential to be mutually knowledgeable about the two cultures, especially today when it is not easy to experience the flavors and traditions of other countries, due to travel restrictions. In this context, Italy has a lot to offer, thanks to its extraordinary products, such as quality wines, a great variety of prestigious cheeses, ham, pasta, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and many others”. Some of these products have been acknowledged in the agreement between China and the European Union. And we are promoting them through various activities in an intense promotional campaign that will improve and deepen the knowledge and understanding of the geographic indication areas among the Chinese public and food industry professionals. We are focusing on sustainability and the healthiness of our excellent foods and wines through agreements and projects, such as training courses at cooking schools and hotel chains and launching promotional events dedicated to certified products that enhance the quality production of our territories”.