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Inauguration of optimistic Vinitaly

“We set ourselves the objective of counteracting the generally negative climate by proposing a ‘positive show’, capable of building relationships, encouraging contacts, accompanying operators and defining contracts.” This was how Luigi Castelletti inaugurated this morning the 43rd edition of Vinitaly in the presence of the Minister for Agricultural Policies, Luca Zaia.
Generatine trust, interest and expectations are therefore the objectives of the most important international exhibition of wines and spirits that, over the five days of the event (2-6 April 2009), is expected to welcome 160 thousand operators from more than 100 companies. These forecasts are based on the number of pre-registrations this year – up by 50% compared to last year for international visitors and 20% for Italian attendees.
This result was achieved by investing even more strongly than in the past on “demand” in order to offer an expanding number of business occasions and “made-to-measure” buyers for every company taknig part. Efforts over recent years have turned this strategy at Veronafiere into an effective reality and has helped Vinitaly become, without a shadow of doubt even in relation to competitor shows, the most important occasion for international business in the wine sector.
“Facts and figures reveal the quantity and qualità of work once again underlying this Vinitaly,” said Flavio Tosi, Mayor of Verona, “and results clearly show that quality pays dividends.” “These results,” said the President of the Province of Verona, Elio Rosele, “already provide a signal for optimism and hope, supported by the certainty that hard work, research and skill on international markets can help overcome the recession.”
Special congratulations were expressed to the current President of Veronafiere by Mayor Tosi and the Governor of the Veneto Region, Giancarlo Galan. At the end of his mandate, Castelletti proudly presented the results of his six years of presidency: “They were six very demanding years yet rich in rewards and satisfaction: Veronafiere turnover has grown from 40 million euro in 2003 to more than 90 in 2008.”
The scenario in which Italian wine-growers must move at present were outlined by Minister Zaia and Governor Galan. In 2008, Italy exported 7% less in terms of quantità but nevertheles achieved growth of 1.7% in value, demonstrating the fact that quality is held in increasingly high ergard on international markets. The wine segment thereby posted 3.6 billion euro out of total Itlian agro-food exports worth 24 billion euro.
The main critical aspect to be tackled is falling consumption, for which there are various causes. There is the general transition from considering wine as a food to consider it a luxury item, which has seen per capite consumption in Italy fall by half, not to mention health questions and even others such as new legislation that has set very strict and low drink-drive limits. Not forgetting the current difficult market situatin and even stronger competition on international markets.
“It is amazing,” said Minister Zaia, “to consider someone as only two glasses of wine as being ‘drunk’ and now the Transport Commission wants to reduce to 0 the limit the for alcohol in the blood for people under 21 years of age. This attitude,” he added, “demonstrates that there is an underlying problem in the approach to the question.” The outcome is that when people go out for a meal, wine consumption stops with the second course, thereby penalising sweet and dessert wines, not to mention grapps.
There is equally a problem as regards safeguarding Italian wine production – now at risk following steam-roller directives only interested in white, red and rosé wines in international terms. Even the Wine CMO is punitive for countries, like Italy, with a history and tradition in wine. “No to vineyard names for generic wines, no to wine techniques such as de-alcoholisation and no to rosè wine made with a little red and a little white wine,” said Zaia.
On the other had, yes to incresingly precise controls provided they safeguard the weaker links in the value chain, in other words producers and consumers, and yes to defence of denominations, “that as of today,” the Minister announced, “can now boast a brand new DOCG: Prosecco.”
Solutions also to become more competitivr: “new marketing strategies,” Galan said, “which position products in the rights bands. This is a vital approach that demands ‘system work’ in order to drive the entire field.”
“A task that Vinitaly has always sought to perform and achieve,” said Castelletti, “emergnig as a meeting point for everyone in the value chain” and also a promoter of special initiatives on an international scale developed precisely to create a ‘system approach’ in collaboration with the Ministry, Buonitalia, ICE and the Regions.

Origin: Veronafiere

by S. C.
03 april 2009, World News > Italy

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