Certified food products in Italy - Statistics and facts
No other country in the European Union has as many certified food and wine products as Italy, which counts 295 food products and 523 wines of high quality as of 2017. Validated by EU legislation, the labels for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) indicate a recognized quality seal in a variety of foodstuff categories.
The industry of certified geographical indications differentiates a lot within the country. Among the twenty Italian regions, Emilia Romagna and Veneto ranked first with the highest products number, although Tuscany had by far the largest land area for cultivation of PDO and PGI food, such as its PGI Extra virgin olive oil which has overtaken all other labelled olive oils in terms of production value and volume.
The bond between a food product and its production location is a key aspect, as in the case of PGI balsamic vinaigrette produced in Modena which almost completely covers the whole market of certified balsamic vinegar. Despite the abundance of certified cheese, the most popular labelled types are the Grana Padano and its variant Parmigiano Reggiano (obtained through a slightly different process). As of 2017, their main importer was Germany, at 16.3 million tons, followed by the United States and France.
Regarding the wine market, Italy has a total of 408 PDO and 118 PGI wines, with the northern region of Piedmont producing 59 of them. In terms of output volumes, Prosecco seems to lead the way among PDO certified wines. Nevertheless, PDO and PGI still wines performed better than sparkling ones in foreign markets, reaching an export value of 2.1 and 1.5 billion euros, respectively.
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