Ahead of the Expo Dubai 2020, the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium joined FICO Eataly World in Dubai for an institutional and business mission organised by the Emilia-Romagna Region. The mission – from 20th to 25th October 2018 – will coincide with the celebrations dedicated to “Two Years Until Expo Dubai 2020” to generate interest in the first universal exposition in an Arab country.
The Consortium’s goal is to strengthen its presence in a fast growing market like the GCC , particularly for Italian products with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. The goal is fully shared by the Emilia-Romagna region that has included amongst the mission’s goals, the implementation of promotional activities for PDO and PGI products from Italy.
In addition to institutional commitments, a dedicated gourmet event aimed at foodies and food aficionados was held at the exclusive Eataly shop in Dubai Mall, where a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese was split open in public, and pasta dressed inside a carved half cheese wheel was served.
On 25th October the delegation will move to Abu Dhabi for the twentieth anniversary of the World Pasta Day. The event, organised by AIDEPI (Association of Italian Sweets and Pasta Manufacturers) and IPO (International Pasta Organisation), celebrates the qualities of pasta: the pillar of the Mediterranean Diet recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
According to Consortium’s Director, Riccardo Deserti, “Parmigiano Reggiano has a consumption turnover of 2.2 billion euro. In 2017 exports increased by +3.9% reaching 39% of the overall production (147,125 tons). In this context, according to ISTAT data, the United Arab Emirates leads the imports of Italian hard cheeses into the Arab peninsula: 394 tons in 2017, compared to 128 of Saudi Arabia, 101 of Qatar and 3 of Bahrain”.
“It is a market that is expected to grow rapidly,”Deserti continued, “Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium has already started investing in the market to create awareness: 2017 indeed saw a comprehensive project aimed at educating media, readers and consumers on the specific features of PDO products and in 2018 a comprehensive marketing study was carried out to plan communication activities addressed to consumers and promotion activities through points of sale to support the growing popularity of Parmigiano Reggiano in the Gulf area. In this respect, the European Union has just confirmed a three million euro funding to the Consortium for a promotional campaign in the Gulf Countries.”
“It is another important initiative to strengthen the positioning of food and wine excellences of the Emilia-Romagna region at an international level in view of our participation in Dubai 2020” – adds the councillor for agriculture for the Emilia Romagna region, Simona Caselli. “We have shown over the years that we can compete globally in terms of quality and innovation; this mission will enable our agri-food exports to the Gulf countries to grow by identifying new forms of collaboration with institutions and local businesses, to protect our typical products and make them more recognisable. 2017 was an important year for exports of agri-food products from the Emilia-Romagna region – a trend that is continuing also this year, but there are still significant margins for growth, especially in emerging markets like the United Arab Emirates and, more in general, the Gulf.”