Afidop leads the team of Italian PDO cheeses to Foodex in Tokyo: Asiago, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and Pecorino Toscano join forces to conquer Japan after the agreement with the EU
The Italian PDO cheeses show up together to the Foodex in Tokyo, the first great event following the EU and Japan’s Economic Partnership Agreement (Jefta) entered into force on 1 February 2019. The Consorzi di Tutela (Consortia for protection) Asiago Pdo, Gorgonzola Pdo, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Pdo and Pecorino Toscano Pdo will fly to the Japanese capital from 5 to 8 March to participate in the most important agri-food trade show in Japan, an event with commercial appeal for the whole Asia Pacific Region, with over 70,000 professional visitors and 3,400 exhibitors during the previous edition.
The Consortia will be in the Italian Pavilion organised by Ice Agency, in the team promoted by Afidop (Association of Italian Pdo cheeses), located in Hall 3: stand 64 (Pecorino Toscano), 65 (Gorgonzola), 66 (Asiago) and 67 (Mozzarella di Bufala Campana).
Foodex is expected to be the first test, at least in terms of international hospitality, following the EU-Japan agreement that recognises and protects on the Japanese market over 200 European agricultural products having a specific geographic origin. Among these, there are four Pdo cheeses that decided to join forces to show the excellences of the Made in Italy in a country where, in the first 11 months of 2018, cheese import grew by 7.1% in quantity and 14.4% in value.
The event offers an interesting agenda of seminars and tastings aimed at raising the awareness of the uniqueness of these four large Italian dairy realities. Moreover, in the Ice Service Centre inside the exhibition, there will be an “Open kitchen” with theme cooking shows to present the Italian products.
“Our great cheeses are more protected and the agreement adds new growth perspectives for everyone in the Asian Region”, commented the chair of Afidop, Domenico Raimondo, who is also the leader of the Consorzio di Tutela Mozzarella di Bufala campana PDO. “Regarding cheese export the high duties on many hard cheeses are abolished and a quota has been set for fresh cheeses, with a progressive liberalisation towards zero duties in 16 years. With this in mind, the alliance proposed for the Foodex is a meaningful evidence of the Italian capability to work as a system”, he explained.
Fiorenzo Rigoni, chair of the Consorzio Tutela Formaggio Asiago states “In the last seven years, upon an intense action aimed at intellectual property protection, legal defence and promotion carried out by the Consortium, the sales of Asiago Pdo in Japan increased substantially and the period from October 2017 to October 2018 alone, reported a +45.4% increase in volume and +20% in value. The Japanese consumers show appreciation and searche for the value proposition and the Italian lifestyle that Asiago Pdo conveys. The presence of the Consortium at Foodexpo will be based exactly on this, it is the first trade show after the recognition and the full protection as geographic indication of the speciality from the Veneto-Trento region”.
The chair of the Consorzio di tutela del Gorgonzola Pdo, Renato Invernizzi explains “Japan is the 11th country for import volume of Gorgonzola Pdo. In 2018 we exported to the Far East approximately 835,777 pounds of Gorgonzola Pdo, 30% more than in 2017. Five years ago the Consorzio Gorgonzola has also been among the advocates of Kendo world cup, a very popular sport in Japan, which was held in Novara. The UE-Japan agreement can add new growth perspectives for everyone, and it is therefore right to join the other Consortia for Protection, under the respected Afidop flag, on the occasion of such an important event as Foodex is”.
Carlo Santarelli, chair of the Consorzio Tutela Pecorino Toscano PDO highlights “the variety of our territories and the food and wine excellences that they express are two treasures of the Made in Italy. Presenting and narrating them jointly and in environments that are completely different from our, such as the Japanese one, is a choice towards the right direction. We must turn our differences and peculiarities into strengths and distinguishing marks. Therefore, I believe that the Tokyo Foodex experience may be an important chance to renew the partnership between Asiago Pdo, Gorgonzola Pdo, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Pdo and Pecorino Toscano Pdo, and to enhance the idea that being united means being stronger and more effective when promoting our quality products”.