Was 2013 a Year To Forget?23 December 2013
ITALY – An industry leader has summarised 2013 as a ‘difficult’ year for the Italian dairy industry.
Challenges have come in many forms, ranging from rising labour and energy costs to a domestic consumption drop of four per cent for fresh milk and three per cent for UHT.
This is the sentiment of Italian Association of Milk and Dairy (Assolatte) President, Joseph Ambrosi in his summary of 2013, a year characterised by shoppers wanting cheaper produce.
He said a drop in Italian milk production and consumption had followed a good year in 2012.
This included lower sales results for protected destination origin (PDO) cheeses Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano, as volumes fell at the expense of cheaper alternatives.
On an international level, cheese export volumes stayed strong, passing the 213,000 tonnes market by August. This followed a record 300,000 tonnes in 2012, worth €2 billion, said Mr Ambrosi.
However, 2013 saw the value of products fall 4.4 per cent, while volumes jumped 6 per cent, leading Mr Abrosi to think the market place liked Italian produce, but not for any cost.
His message was that the dairy sector, along with consumer taste, was evolving rapidly.
This was reflected in processed product sales growth elsewhere across sliced cheese and mascarpone products.
“The dairy industry is one of the most innovative sectors: the number of new products coming on the market every year is really high,” said Mr Ambrosi. “Pre grated cheese and bio yoghurt sales lifted, which is good as this increases shelf life.”