A report from Coldiretti (the greatest association supporting Italian agriculture) has stated that three Italian food products out of four sold abroad are not authentic. Mainly 75% of the products that are sold abroad as Italian, or have some reference to Italy as the name or the images on the box, are fake.
Many products are imitated, such as olive oil, wine, cheese, tomato sauce and the best known examples are Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, which are two of the most copied food products in the world. The famous Parmesan, sold around the world as Italian, but in reality produced abroad. This then takes different names depending on the country where it was made. If you are in the UAE or in the UK it is called Parmesan, in Brazilis it is called Parmesao, it becomes Regianito in Argentina and Pamesello in Belgium. What it is surprising is that the countries who copy the products are not only the classic ones such as China, but practically all nations, including the United States and Canada.
This phenomenon slows the spread of Made in Italy and it is causing economic loss. Figures show a loss of about $ 60 billion. Beyond the figures, there is an overall loss in consumers perception of Italian taste and quality. Because consumers do not really understand what are the real Italian products as they are easily deceived through: fake names, the use of three-color Italian flag and the widespread absence of a real Italian taste as probably they have never tasted real Italian food.
So foreign companies that produce imitations of Italian food products have more opportunities and are more competitive in the market because their production costs are very low compared to the Italian ones and to this we must add the import costs which burden Italian competiveness.
It is evident that foreign companies that imitate Italian products are the winners while Italy, Italian producers (farmers, companies etc.) and foreign consumers are the losers in Global Political Economy, because with globalization products from every part of the world are available everywhere and this made them subject of easy imitation. This clearly illustrates that fake versions of Italian products, prevent consumers from tasting the authentic made in Italy. This phenomenon causes negative consequences both on consumers, who will not taste real Italian specialties, and on Italian producers and economy.
Francesca Urso (Dubai Campus)