There is a looming shortage of original Italian pasta, extra virgin olive oil and tomato sauce due to Brexit, Italian producers warn.
Records from the first five months of the year show a 28 per cent percent decline in imports of Italian pasta to the UK with Italian-made olive oil and tomato sauce imports falling by 13 and 16 per cent respectively.
In a statement issued by the Italian farmers' lobby group Coldiretti,
...This is due to the bureaucratic and administrative difficulties linked to the exit of the British from the European Union.
The group blames the latest development on Brexit-related bureaucratic issues on how food is transported from Italy to the UK, a situation that has resulted in lorries being delayed and an increase in transport costs.
With the UK being Italy’s fourth-largest export destination - after Germany, France and USA - this development is a serious threat to the € 3.4 billion (£2.9 billion) Italy-UK food export market.
Coldiretti's economic officer, Lorenzo Bazzana said although they expect a drop in the overall trade between the two countries, current figures are cause for concern.
Fake Italian Products
The group is also cautioning that current trade challenges could lead to an influx of counterfeit Italian products. Bazzana told The Times,
Produce pretending to be Italian is worth €100 billion in sales a year globally, double the real food and drink coming from Italy. Now, the UK might become a Trojan horse in Europe, a gateway to Italy for fake Italian food.
But as a consumer, how can you tell if the pasta or tomato sauce you are buying is actually from Italy?
According to Bazzana, this is what you should look out for:
The British need to watch out for Italian oil and parmesan with an Italian flag on the label which actually comes from America