Italy has confirmed its position as the first country for the number of PDO, PGI and TSG certifications granted by the European Union (EU). At 31 December 2014, Italy had 269 quality-certified products (8 more than in 2013); of these, 257 were active.
The sectors with the highest number of certifications were Fruit, vegetables and cereals (103 products), Cheeses (49), Extra virgin olive oils (43) and Meat preparations (38). Fresh meat and other sectors had a total of 5 and 32 specialities respectively.
The regions with the highest number of PDO and PGI products were Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, with 41 and 36 products respectively.
In 2014, there were 79,848 certified operators, down by 587 units (-0.7%) from 2012. Of these, 91.4% were exclusively involved in production activities and 6.6% in product transformation; the remaining 2% performed both activities.
In the certification system, new certified operators (5,721) were lower than exits (6,308).
Most certified operators continued to be men, with 80.1% of producers and 86.3% of transformers being male.
Among producers (74,571 units), the Cheese sector was particularly highly represented (26,454 units, the equivalent of 35.5% of the total), along with Extra virgin olive oil (18,734 or 25.1%) and Fruit, vegetables and cereals (17,279 or 23.2%).
Transformers (6,845 units) were also more frequent in the Extra virgin olive oil (1,796 or 26.2% of the total), Cheeses (1,555 or 22.7%) and Fruit, vegetables and cereals (1,204 or 17.6%) sectors. In comparison to 2012, the number of livestock farms (41,412 farms) fell by 1.3% while the surface area covered (162,824 hectares) rose by 0.4%.
Quality products contribute to promoting development in the mountainous areas of the country: 28.2% of producers were located in the mountains, against 17% of mountain farms recorded by the 2010 Agricultural Survey.
Overall, the number of producers recorded a fall by 0.8% between 2013 and 2014 was the result of a fall in Northern (-1.7%) and Central areas (-1%) against a rise in South and Islands area (+0.6%). The decrease in the number of transformers (-3.5%) was due to a contraction in the Centre and North, surpassing the increase in the South and Islands area.