Director Calderone: "The fundamental objective is to rally the pig sector in order to establish renewed confidence in the sector by consumers in Italy and Belgium, countries involved in the campaign"

Trust Your Taste, CHOOSE EUROPEAN QUALITY " is the title of the three-year campaign, previewed today to the press at the Association's Annual Assembly, which takes place in the afternoon in live streaming from the MADE Competence Center I4.0 in Milan. program, which will end in 2024, has Italy and Belgium as target countries and benefits from the co-financing of the European Commission under Regulation (EU) 1144/2014 (Information and promotion actions concerning agricultural products in the internal market).

The press conference is also an opportunity to anticipate the economic data of the sector.

In 2020, the turnover of the sector was 8,237 million euros, with a decrease of 3.3% compared to 2019 (8,522 million euros).

The production of cured meats recorded a decline, reaching 1.093 million tons from 1.176 in 2019 (-7.1%). The value of production also fell, showing a more contained decline, falling to 7,927 million euros (-3.6%) from 8,225 million in 2019.

As far as exports are concerned, according to Assica's elaborations on ISTAT data, in 2020 shipments abroad of Italian cured meats concerned 170,137 tons for a turnover of 1,626.7 million euros, recording a decrease in volume (-7, 2%), but growth in value (2.5%).

The internal consumption structure still saw cooked ham in first place, with a share of 27.2% of the total of cured meats, followed by raw ham at 21.8%, mortadella / wurstel down to 19%, from salami at 8.1% and from bresaola at 2.5%. The other cured meats close at 21.3%.

"The result of exports reflects the dynamics generated by the pandemic and the succession of the so-called" waves "of contagion. In terms of volumes, the closure of the Ho. Re.Ca. and the adoption of restrictive measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus in many key markets for our exports, the main effect was that of inducing a decline, in some quarters even severe, in the demand for cured meats. On the turnover, the increased demand for products with higher added value, especially trays, and the increase in costs caused by the exceptional health situation have given a not insignificant boost to the prices of the final product " said Davide Calderone , Director of ASSICA. "As regards the Trust your Taste project, we believe that it is always necessary to communicate more and better what we do and to be more and more open and transparent with respect to the high European production standards. We are seeing a growth in consumer sensitivity, both Italian and Belgian, with respect to the issues of nutritional values, sustainability, food safety and animal welfare, new purchasing drivers , meat and more, increasingly important and relevant. The modern consumer is much more interested in the context that surrounds him and at the origin of what he eats compared to the past. This project offers us an extraordinary opportunity for the evolution of the sector in an increasingly virtuous sector , which knows how to deal with critical issues and transform them into opportunities. This is why we imagine a different supply chain, no longer established from linked rings where each of them is responsible only for its own part, but formed by a ret and of entrepreneurs and interconnected operators, thanks to technological innovation, who can and must know how to look at the whole, all contributing to the success of the finished product. A real inclusive network, where everyone does their part but does not lose sight of the "whole", to build value and redistribute it in an equitable way, thus increasing the competitiveness of the sector.

Many actions are foreseen in the "Trust Your Taste, CHOOSE EUROPEAN QUALITY" project. To tell them in detail Monica Malavasi, Communications Manager of ASSICA. "The project will act in a specific way to inform about the production methods of European products, such as safety, nutritional aspects, animal welfare and sustainability which are currently the most debated and controversial aspects by EU citizens. campaign are both all Italian cured meats, true excellence of our country, and pork. The recipient is the final consumer , who will be reached through the various channels through which information is obtained (web and social media, TV and traditional media, but also direct information at the point of sale) to make him aware of existing scientific data and research as well as of the progress made by the entire supply chain to encourage conscious consumption. In Italy, moreover, a more massive and profound involvement of the supply chain has also been planned. In fact, ASSICA with this project intends to assume a role of specific information also towards a l some professional categories so that a deeper knowledge of the products and their origins, of their history and their unique characteristics, spreads to a greater extent even in the sales channels to the public. A Digital Academy is planned for operators in the sector with video lessons, training seminars and workshops to encourage continuous improvement in the sector and meetings to stimulate dialogue and discussion until reaching a new, more innovative and sustainable supply chain model ".

The nutritional values of cured meats are always important and have shown a general improvement for some time, especially in the reduction of salt and fats, as well as in the important presence of fundamental vitamins. These results have been possible thanks to the improvement upstream of the supply chain, where pig feeding and rearing techniques are crucial. "In recent decades, the composition of the pig's diet has undergone notable changes, which have led to an important 'nutritional evolution' of the products, respecting historically rooted traditions, with particularly flattering improvement results - explains Evelina Flachi , Nutritionist and Science Specialist - The nutritional improvement of the raw material is relevant above all with respect to the fat content, reduced by as much as 30% , while the continuous progress of the food processing industry for cured meats has led to a significant decrease in salt. nitrates in some cured meats has been greatly reduced, almost to be eliminated, while nitrites are practically absent today ".

With 75 years of experience ASSICA plays a central and increasingly strategic role in the Italian cured meats sector, which it represents nationally. With the Trust Your Taste campaign, CHOOSE EUROPEAN QUALITY, ASSICA consolidates this role also at the community level as an authoritative source of information and enhancement of the sector. Belgium, in particular, is a small country but which plays a central role at European level by hosting, in its capital, the main EU institutions, as well as being a dynamic and competitive market.

For Italian cured meats, Belgium is currently the third country of destination with 7,489 tons of products exported for 96.2 million euros in value. The cured meats that the Belgians most liked in 2020 were mortadella and frankfurters.

In the first two months of 2021, very positive signs for our exports arrived from this market. In fact, the Belgian demand for Italian cured meats recorded 12.1% in quantity and 8.8% in value. A good performance was again recorded by mortadella and wurstel, to which salami, cured raw hams, pancetta and bresaole were added.

ASSICA, the Industrial Association of Meat and Cured Meats, is the national trade organization which, within the Confindustria, represents pig slaughtering and processing companies. Within the framework of its institutional purposes, ASSICA's activity covers various areas, including the definition of a sectoral economic policy, information and assistance service to about 180 associates in the economic / commercial, health, regulatory and legal fields. and trade union. Competence, collaborative attitude and professional reliability are guaranteed by specialized collaborators and supported by participation in various association organizations, both at national and community level. In fact, since its establishment in 1946, ASSICA has always stood out for its strong associative spirit as evidenced by its quality as a member of Confindustria, to which it has wanted to join since its birth, of Federalimentare, the Italian Federation of Food Industries, of which he is a founding member of Clitravi, the European Federation that brings together the national associations of the meat processing industries, which he helped to found in 1957.