The second Italian Cuisine Week from 20 to 26 November
by Katya Marletta
This year, Italian Cuisine Week in the World - in its second edition - will take place from 20 to 26 November, aims to promote Italy’s agri-food industry and the tradition of high-quality food and wine which is so central to the Italian identity and culture. Over a thousand events will be held, coordinated by the 296 diplomatic and consular headquarters and Italian cultural institutes around the world.
Italian Cuisine Week is coordinated by a working group set up by the Memorandum of Understanding for the Promotion of High-Quality Italian Cuisine Abroad and headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in close collaboration with the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.
Focusing on the high-quality food and wine; protection and promotion of products with the DOP (protected designation of origin) and DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) certifications; publicization of Italian methods for protecting brands and initiatives to counter the use of Italian-sounding product names; promotion of food-and-wine itineraries and regional tourism routes; high-quality training in the hospitality sector to develop long-term collaborations between Italian chefs and their local counterparts; support for the applications for the Neopolitan art of pizza-making and the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Hills as UNESCO World Heritage sites; support for the culinary specialities of the regions recently hit by earthquakes.
The UK remains one of the largest importers of Italian food products, with the value of imports in this sector rising consistently over the last two years. In 2016 the category with the greatest import value was wine (£692m), followed by pasta (£262m), olive oil (£46m) and prepared meats (£80m).
Despite this positive trend, Italian agri-food products face a number of challenges with the prospect of the UK’s exit from the EU and recent media attacks on some of the most popular Italian products in the UK. Italian Cuisine Week offers an opportunity to reaffirm the unique dietary and cultural value of Italian cuisine.
Italian Cuisine Week in the UK encapsulates the dynamism of the Italian agri-food industry, through scientific conferences examining the benefits of the Mediterranean diet as well as numerous initiatives to highlight Italy’s leading role in innovation in the sector and raise awareness of certifications of religious suitability and guaranteed origin.
The programme of events is coordinated by the Embassy of Italy in London, in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK, the UK delegation of the Accademia della Cucina.