FEATURES » Climate change bringing new cultivations to Italy

Climate change bringing new cultivations to Italy

According to the farmers’ association, Coldiretti, climate change brought new cultivations to Italy, such as bananas, finger lime, and sturgeon caviar. Together with new food there are also old specialties reintroduced by farmers and now included in the “Made in Italy” products. The “manna” the biblical food sent by God to save the Jewish population during the desert crossing, is now cultivated by Sicilian farmers. The manna is extracted from the ash tree. Every day, in summer, in the country side around Castelbuono and Pollina, the ash trees bark is incised to let their sap flow and dry, to obtain the “manna”, particularly popular among the local people for its medicinal properties and its nice and sweet taste. Another product which is now included in the “made in Italy” is mulled wine of roman origins. It is produced by boiling mush of red and white grapes in copper vats, left to ferment and rest for years in wooden barrels. Then there is hydromel, considered the oldest fermented drink even older than beer.  

Moreover, there are: the wine of Loazzolo, a town of only 300 inhabitants; the spumante of the abyss, aged in the depths of the Tyrrhenian sea and the wine of the glaciers produced at high-altitude in the vineyards in the Aosta province; lentils from Ustica, cultivated in areas where tractors cannot be used, therefore all the activities are carried out with the use of mules.  

The made in Italy has plenty of aces up its sleeve and even before introducing these new products it has hit a historic record again in the first six months of 2017. The exportation of Made in Italy food products overseas saw a growth of + 10.9% compared with the same period last year. Almost two-thirds of agri-food exports concern the countries of the European Union, but the United States are by far the main Italian food market outside the borders of the Union, and the third in general terms after Germany, France and Great Britain. The most exported Italian agri-food product is wine followed by fresh fruit.

Coldiretti pointed out that the trend in international markets, could further improve by more effective protection against the international “food piracy” that yield a return of over 60 billion euros by improperly using words, colours, locations, images, denominations and recipes that refer to Italy for products that have nothing to do with it. On top of the list of the most popular counterfeit products there are Dop originated cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, but also Provolone, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, Asiago or Fontina. Then there are the most prestigious salami from Parma to San Daniele which are often cloned, but also extra virgin olive oil, and preserves.

Giulia Lombardo

»Back to: FEATURES