Italy’s Pasta Increasingly Made of North American Wheat
Wed, April 21, 2021

Italy’s Pasta Increasingly Made of North American Wheat

The world’s biggest pasta consumer, Italy, can’t abandon wheat from the US and Canada in making their macaroni and spaghetti after foul weather and smaller plantings curbed the output in the EU / Photo by: Max Pixel

 

The world’s biggest pasta consumer, Italy, can’t abandon wheat from the US and Canada in making their macaroni and spaghetti after foul weather and smaller plantings curbed the output in the EU, reports agriculture news provider Post Bulletin.

Country of Origin Labels in Italy

Durum or pasta wheat exports of the US and Canada are increasing, hindering the efforts made by Italy to protect the local farmers by adopting labeling rules. In 2017, Italy introduced the country of origin labels for pasta and rice. The measure was passed by the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister for Economic Development to encourage food makers to indicate the country of origin of the grains used in manufacturing the pasta and rice. 

What Triggered the Demand for US and Canadian Wheat?

According to the European Commission data, wheat production in the European Union fell 10% to 7.78 million tons in July and it triggered the demand for US and Canadian wheat instead. 

Rome-based grains group Associazione Nazionale Cerealisti’s vice president Niccolo d'Andria said that Italian importers have likewise taken advantage of the Canadian and US wheat that comes at “historically cheap values” but of excellent quality. Another round of wheat imports may happen in April, d'Andria predicts.

Exports of wheat from Canada to Italy that ended in September nearly tripled to 156,500 tons compared to the previous year’s export, data from the Canadian Grain Commission highlights. From January to September this year, shipments of wheat from the US also more than doubled to 210,000 tons. The data was based on the US Department of Agriculture.

Excessive rain in the US and Canada also hampered their harvests and farmers reduced the area of land intended for durum as they are challenging to grow during the season.

State government office North Dakota Wheat Commission’s market development and research manager Erica Olson said that the prices for wheat remained “relatively low” during the growing season and it has contributed to the demand for wheat in Italy. She added that some people are buying fast and early based on quality and production issues. The question that remains now is if the trend will continue.

Not-for-profit organization Cereals Canada’s president Cam Dahl also pointed out that their country is a “supplier of last resort” to Italy. The European country still maintains labeling provisions.

According to the European Commission data, wheat production in the European Union fell 10% to 7.78 million tons in July and it triggered the demand for US and Canadian wheat instead / Photo by: dancebunnynose via Pixabay

 

Pasta, the World’s Favorite Food

International charitable organization Oxfam previously conducted a global survey showing that pasta is the world’s favorite food, followed by meat, rice, and pizza. Oxfam’s survey was also published by the BBC.  Among the largest consumers of pasta are Italy, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Tunisia, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil.

The UN AFPA, founded by the Associations of Pasta Manufacturers of the European Union, also shared the estimate of world pasta production by country. The list includes: Italy (3,246,488 tons), United States (2,000,000 tons), Turkey (1,315,690 tons), Brazil (1,204,900 tons), Russia (1,083,000 tons), Iran (560,000 tons), Egypt (400,000 tons), Argentina (381,908 tons), Tunisia (335,500 tons), and Germany (332,214 tons).

Based on its estimate, nearly 14.3 million tonnes of pasta are produced in the world, 27% of which are produced in Central and South America, 5.8% in Africa, 4.1% in the Middle East, 1.7% in Asia, 14.9% in North America, 17.0% in other parts of Europe, 34.4% in UE, and 0.4% in Australia.

Pasta Crimes in an Italian Town

British newspaper The Independent also recently shared how pasta crimes in Italy are a threat to the country’s traditional culinary art. The daily shares that in mid-October, police inspectors in Italy busted a restaurant in the historical Old Bari town for violation of the Italian and European Union regulations, which requires that food in restaurants have to be clearly sourced. The restaurant that the authorities busted reportedly served orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) that was untraceable. 

Many locals, however, argued that the law presents a real threat to them. “Globalization is threatening the traditions,” local tradition advocate Michele Fanelli commented.

Pasta Sauce Market

Meanwhile, the pasta sauce market is also estimated to grow at more than 6% CAGR between 2019 and 2027 based on an analysis provided by top companies of pasta sauce. These companies include Mizkan, Dolmio, Barilla, B7G Foods, Newman’s Own, Heinz, Premier Foods, Campbell, Knorr, Del Monte Foods, Leggos, Giovanni Rana, NAPOLINA, Private Labels, Francesco Rinaldi, and Hunts.

The analysis, which appeared in the business platform Market Report Gazette, details the different pasta sauce market by type. It includes black sauce, white sauce, green sauce, and red sauce. The pasta sauce market by application, on the other hand, is fresh pasta and dried pasta. The report highlights that the increasing demand for pasta worldwide is directly increasing the consumption of pasta sauce as well. The analysis considers the development status, recent trends, and size of the pasta sauce market, government policy, and investment opportunities.

As pasta has almost become synonymous with Italian cuisine, it would surely help the country’s economy if it won’t rely too much on foreign wheat. Italy can avoid future “indigestion” of its economy and achieve the required pasta production by giving attention to its local producers.

Meanwhile, the pasta sauce market is also estimated to grow at more than 6% CAGR between 2019 and 2027 based on an analysis provided by top companies of pasta sauce / Photo by: NativeForeigner via Wikimedia Commons