The producer leader in the world of Balsamic Vinegar Armando De Nigris dreams about a ransom of Italian products on international markets. His ambitious project is to value IGP and DOP brands abroad as they deserve, stopping the trend of selling them off in large retail chains.
Italian food has a problem of valorisation, both in Italy and abroad; for this reason it is necessary to make consumers aware of the “plus” value that belongs to the “Made in Italy” brands. De Nigris firmly believed that this is the priority of the Italian agro-food sector and hopes that the new leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism face the issue as soon as possible.
DOP and IGP products sold off in discounts represent a real disfigure for those who produce high-quality Made-in-Italy products. What he finds unacceptable is that, on the shelves of some distribution chains, the IGP Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is sold at 0.90 cents. «A pack of PGI vinegar – explained De Nigris – from the collection of the grapes to the arrival on the shelf must undergo at least 34 processing steps. How can it be sold off at 0.90 cents? ».
Armando De Nigris, leader in the production of Balsamic Vinegar producers of Modena IGP (78.5 million euros turnover achieved for 80% abroad) severely attack this trend. «Our products – he explained – are top quality. And in the hands of our chefs they become true works of art. Having said this, I wonder: if a tourist scarred Michelangelo’s David wouldn’t we severely punish him? If yes, why do people who are guilty of scarring our Italian food treasures do not suffer any sanction??? ».
We are used to talk about protection only as far as foreign markets are concerned; but actually the problem concerns also our homeland. This is a real problem and the Consortiums should be able to innovate in order to effectively deal with it. Yet the Consortium achieved some results, like the victory in Germany: it was recognized that the term Balsamic can not be used to label those products who are not Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP. This is certainly a first important victory, but it is not the end. It is now necessary to take one further step in the field of valorisation.
But how to create value?
I know that we have the cleanest agriculture in Europe, which means the one with the lowest environmental impact; we have a food industry that produces high-quality products recognized all over the world. Moreover, over the years we were able to develop efficient food security policies. Furthermore, our quality control system is studied even abroad since it is one of the best in the world. Now we must hoard these primates, putting them in the system in order to create value.
How exactly do you do it?
I’m trying with the experience of Balsamico Village. We created the first park dedicated to a protected geographical indication. The park registered 2,500 paying visitors in 16 months. But I am just one sign company. The Consortiums should implement such operations on a larger scale.