Italy’s food and beverage (F&B) exports to Qatar increased by 9.2% to reach €11mn in the first quarter of 2020, according to figures provided by the Italian embassy, citing Qatari customs statistics.
“Qatar is implementing ambitious plans for self-sufficiency, integrated food logistics, and diversification of food supplies. Italy is pleased to be a partner for Qatar also in this respect,” ambassador Alessandro Prunas told Gulf Times in a statement.
According to Prunas, Italy and Coldiretti, which is the Italian National Association of Farmers representing 500,000 producers, “offer a distinctive, sustainable agricultural model” that could contribute to Qatar’s aim of achieving food security.
In April 2019, Prunas said Coldiretti opened the first permanent corner of Italian products bearing the “100% Made in Italy” trademark at LuLu hypermarkets as part of a broader agreement to bring Italian famers’ products to LuLu outlets in Qatar.
The first Coldiretti “100% Made in Italy” area at LuLu was inaugurated in the presence of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the ambassador said.
“Consumer choices and habits are changing and are attaching greater importance to the way products are produced. Customers living in Qatar will find in these Coldiretti corners high-quality Italian products and are ‘100% Made in Italy’ produced by small and medium agro-food companies following the highest standards of quality, environment, and health protection. This is also in line with the objectives set by the Qatar National Vision 2030,” Prunas stressed.
Prunas also said Coldiretti is implementing an important national solidarity campaign in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Official surveys in many countries, including in Europe, the US, and other post-industrialized countries, have shown that the sharp interruption or reduction of reliable sources of income due the health emergency has generated an unprecedented need for emergency income support scheme,” he said.
Prunas said the Italian government has adopted exceptional measures, including, but not limited to, direct and indirect tax measures, employment-related measures, economic stimulus, measures to support
export, internationalization, and investment.
“In line with these extraordinary measures and amid global economic hardships, the Italian farmers association has also stepped in to play its part in order to ensure that family and workers most severely hit by the crisis can continue accessing quality Made in Italy food,” he said.
Prunas said Coldiretti launched a national donations campaign and “pay it forward” initiatives, with special attention on the needs of children. Farmers markets have donated more than 450,000kg of food through the work of volunteers from 10,000 local institutions and 200 recognized charity associations.
Referring to these initiatives, Prunas said: “The campaign of Coldiretti highlights the strong foundations of ‘Made in Italy’ not only in terms of quality but also business ethics. This approach has proved to be successful also in the partnership between Coldiretti and LuLu hypermarkets Qatar.
“The parties are working to make successful business together, while pursuing the common goal to make high-quality food products available at a very competitive and affordable price to meet the demand of consumers for healthier products.”