NEWS » The French love Italian Cheese

The French love Italian Cheese

Italian cheese has beaten French cheese! A Coldiretti’s report based on data collected from Istat in the first seven months of the year, showed that the French have become the main consumers of Italian cheese. Exports to France have almost doubled (up by 94%) in a decade. The defeat of the most representative French products: Camembert, Brie, Roquefort and other local specialties is one of the effects of the 7% growth in exportation of Italian cheese abroad compared to last year, and the 84% increase over the last decade.  

The success of Italian cheese abroad is just the tip of the iceberg of the growth registered in the Italian dairy sector. This might be due to a step forward in the battle against counterfeit Italian dairy products, as since 19 April 2017, producers must indicate the origin of the milk on the label. This requirement revitalised the market, and as Coldiretti said, prevented many farms from closing down.

According to Coldiretti, today, Italy exports to France twice as much cheese as it imports from there. French exports have remained practically stable for a decade, while Italian exports on made in Italy cheese, and made in Italy in general, are booming. France wasn’t the only country to be conquered by Italian cheese. In the Netherlands, for example, sales of “pecorino” have risen by 77% compared to last year. The Swiss are consuming 8% more pecorino compared to last year, and 22% more in the last decade. Greece can’t do without Italian mozzarella, with sales up by 41%. France is receiving almost a quarter of all Italian cheese exports, Germany is in the second position with 14%, followed by the UK with 10%, the US with 9% and Spain with 5%.

The products at the top of the list are Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano counting for 21% of the total exported products. In the list of Italian cheeses bearing quality assurance labels (DOP/IGP) recognized by the European Union, there are also Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, which all register significant export volumes.

However, the most exported cheeses are also the most imitated. Sales of counterfeit versions of Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano are even higher than those of the original products. 

Giulia Lombardo

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