3 PRODUCTS ON 5
SOLD ABROAD AS ITALIAN
THEY ARE NOT!
The Italian agri-food heritage is unique in the world for quality and assortment. Italian gastronomic culture and food products, as well as many other sectors, are famous and appreciated by consumers in many countries. As a consequence of this popularity, a parallel economy has gradually grown over the years which, by taking away market shares from protected products, causes heavy damage to Italian companies. This phenomenon is known as "Italian Sounding", that is the use of geographical names, images and brands that evoke Italy to promote and market products that cannot be traced back to our country. It represents the most striking form of unfair competition and fraud against consumers, especially in the agri-food sector. Worldwide, the annual turnover of the Italian Sounding is estimated at around 54 billion euros per year (147 million euros per day), however more than double the current value of Italian exports of food products (23 billion euros). Therefore, at least two products out of three marketed abroad are only apparently related to our country.
Search Key "Mozzarella italiana"
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Foreign companies that improperly use distinctive signs and informative and promotional descriptions that refer in some way to our country, adopt market techniques that induce the consumer to attribute to their products characteristics of Italian quality that they do not actually possess, competing unfairly in the market and gaining a competitive advantage over not only Italian competition.
In Italy there are strict rules on agri-food production, whose objective is to protect the high quality of products as well as the health of consumers. "Made in Italy" therefore means not only a quality product, but also a safe product. The other apparently Italian products cannot, in principle, be considered as such. However, to date the protection of products with a protected designation of origin takes place exclusively at Community level, and for this reason many problems concerning the fight against Italian sounding and the protection of Made in Italy persist at global level.
The DGLC-UIBM, in collaboration with Federalimentare, dealt with the period
2011 - 2013 of two projects aimed at combating the phenomenon of Italian sounding.