Italian cheese sets an all-time record in 2018, with an 8% increase in exported quantities compared to 2017 when it reached 412 million kilos. This is what emerges from a Coldiretti analysis on ISTAT data for the first two months of the year, published on the occasion of the World Dairy Day organised by the FAO on 1 June. The most striking demonstration of this success is that the French have become the main consumers of Made in Italy cheeses. Almost 20% of total exports from Italy end up on French tables, increasing further by 2% in 2018 after having practically doubled in the last ten years. Today, exports of Italian cheese to France are much higher than those of French cheese to Italy.
The most exported Italian cheeses
Germany comes in second place; there, exports grew by 9%, ahead of the UK (+10%), and the United States (+7%). But Italian dairy products exports are also growing in countries that are traditional cheese producers such as Holland (+19%) and Switzerland (+10%). The most exported Italian cheeses are Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano, which represent 22% of the total leading the list of 51 PDOs and PGIs. Unfortunately, the most exported Made in Italy cheeses are also the most counterfeited in the world, from the Brazilian Parmesao to the Argentinean Reggianito to the Canadian, Australian and American Parmesan. The success of Italian cheese abroad coincides with a general recovery in the Italian dairy sector after the introduction of the obligation to indicate the origin of milk on the label of dairy products.