“It has been source of great pride and satisfaction to have launched in Italy, once again, World Industry Tomato Congress, after more than 20 years.
The high number of participants (more than double comparing figures regarding Beijing edition, which took place 2 years ago) confirms that this has been a winning choice to join a wide audience of experts of this sector, coming from all over the world.
This beautiful city, hosting this event, has been chosen not only for its beauty and historical background, but also for its position, in the North of Italy, where Tomato crop is grown for tradition. Indeed, about 50% of Italian Tomato crop is cultivated here, in the area of Po Valley, where in these last few years, an important district has been founded, in order to protect and increase the value of an excellent tomato chain”.
With these words, Mr Costantino Vaia – General Director of Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro and formerly President of AMITOM, in charge during the nomination of 11th edition of Congress to Italy, kicks off the most important international meeting for Industrial Tomato market.
Mr Vaia carried on with an analysis of Italian situation and introduced, with strong remarks and a purposeful overview, all guests who were present to Opening Session: the Ministry ofAgriculture and Forestry, Member of Parliament Mr Maurizio Martina, the assessor for Agriculture of Lombardy region, Member of Parliament Mr Gianni Fava, the President of Agriculture Commission and Rural Development of European Community, Member of Parliament Mr Paolo De Castro (in videoconference), the President of Amitom,
Mr Dimitri Nomikos, the President of Wptc, Mr Andrew Tianchi and the President of Vegetal section of ISHS Mrs Silvana Nicola.
As Mr Vaia explained – “ Our market is facing an inevitable challenge, imposed by globalization, and it is essential to seize occasions in the name of cooperation and dialogue. These values are necessary to find new strategies and solutions so that our tomato chain shall be productive, efficient, sustainable, especially long lasting and independent of speculative logic. The future agricultural policies of World Governments are the key elements to meet these goals.
Tomato Congress is a great opportunity and a comparison method to find real solutions: today, the risk that tomato may be affected by competitive conditions of other crops, more attractive in terms of productivity and profitability, is very high.
As Mr Vaia said - “It is important – that the output of raw material can be improved for operators of the sector, without burdening on final client, working on critical facilities of our own country, creating aggregation, growth and collaboration between the various links in the chain.
Italy, with 126 companies and a share market of more than 12%, is placed as the second industrial tomato processing giant all over the world, developing a turnover of about 3 billion of euros, of which more than 56% is export oriented.
This shows how this sector, perhaps too often ignored by the spotlight, is definitely very important for global economy”.
If it is true that tomato chain has a considerable importance on global market, it is equally true that it is the key product of our Mediterranean diet, considered on a nutritional level as a product to defend and spread all over in geographic areas, where populations need products rich in nutritional elements, such as tomato components. Not to mentioned that considering properties, tomato matches with guidelines of several diets and religions.
As Mr Vaia suggests “We need to boost a global spreading - Tomato must be accessible from an economic point of view: facing a so difficult management of Resources for nutrition on a global level, tomato is one of the cheaper raw processed materials for consumers, despite this resource can guarantee a fair distribution of the value from the beginning to the end of tomato chain”.
Italy, as a world leader in this sector, can be considered as a pioneer of a wide project, but this big nation must find in Institutions a strong alliance, to promote and invest in winning strategies of realities present today on the market.
“A few months before Expo 2015 – As Mr Vaia closed his speech addressing to the Ministry Mr Martina – I think that this event can represent an opportunity to increase the value of excellence of a chain, knowhow and quality, appreciated all over the world”.