More than half of the UK’s food will come from overseas within a generation, reports The Guardian. According to farming leaders, a rising population and stalling farm productivity combine to erode what remains of the UK’s self-sufficiency. Farming production is worth about £26 billion a year, while the broader food industry accounts for about £103 billion to the UK economy, more than the car and aerospace industries combined.

However, it is not just a question of quantity but also quality. Eating well and in a healthy way is the next step for a population that counts one of the highest percentage of obesity in Europe.

Quality food has been the main topic of the three-day show Welcome Italia, the event organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK which took place on 26-28th September in London and aimed to discover and explore the best of Italian products. Quality, passion and sustainability have been the key words in a number of meetings with Italian chefs and producers.

 

Giancarlo Caldesi at Welcome Italia

The Chef Giancarlo Caldesi esplains how to taste olive oil while he is cooking Italian pulses at Welcome Italia.

 

If we take a look at data provided by Italian statistical agency ISTAT and analysed by Nomisma, nearly all of “Made in Italy” products have seen their exports growth in 2015. Pasta exports reached €2.26 billion, a 4.2% growth over the previous year. Wine exports grew by 1.4%, reaching €5.11 billion, marking a positive result compared with the weak performance that was registered halfway through the year. Olive oil products enjoyed a tiny growth (0.2%), at €1.1 billion. About 70% of Italy’s food exports reach European countries and particularly the UK is a strong market, accounting for €3 billion (+7%).