A Sector Focusing on Exports

In 2018, the macro sector of Italian made technology and equipment for food grew on three fronts: production, export and investment. Data supplied by the Assofoodtec association confirms this, showing a healthy performance with focus on exports.

by Silvia Crespi

The macro-sector of “Technology for food equipment and products”, represented by Assofoodtec (The Italian association of machinery and plant manufacturers for the production, processing and conservation of food), showed an increase in production in 2018 of 2.5% on 2017 figures. Exports grew 2.6% and investment 5.2%. According to forecasts for 2019 from ANIMA study offices, the positive trend should continue albeit, with a little less vigor, production 1.7%, export 1.6% and investment 2%.
“Our sector is exporting more than half of what it produces. Pasta, sweets, meat processing, coffee machines, refrigeration cells, this is the kind of Italian technology the global market is asking for. The excellence of Italian food needs technological input that will guarantee its quality”. This strong message comes from Andrea Salati Chiodini, who became president of Assofoodtec on March 12th.
The newly elected president also underlined the dynamic growth in exports thanks to the innovative solutions, safety and hygiene of Italian machinery.
He hopes that product credibility is enhanced by the highly regarded reputation of the country behind it, in this case, Italy. For this to happen, internal political stability must be clear to those who appreciate certainty when deciding where to drive investment.
From a technological point of view, the trend of industrial automation and advanced solutions can only bring about increased productivity and quality in the finished product. Today, the challenge concerning production line integration and a complete transparency in doing so, at management level, requires the support of businesses able to develop solutions whose application responds to specific needs.

The best performing sectors for food technology machinery
Among the best performing areas, coffee machines, pasta manufacturing and other food-based extruders, sweet manufacturing and commercial refrigeration units stand out.
Over 2018, the coffee machine sectors saw production increase by 4.2%, mostly due to export growth, up by 4.3% and one expected to grow a further 2.8% in 2019.
The area of “machinery for the sweet making industry” closed 2018 with excellent results, production up by 4.3%, with 2019 forecasts at 3.4%. Exports, which account for almost the entirety of production, grew by 3.8% on the previous year with a further 3% forecast for 2019. Machinery and plant for pasta production and food extrusion performed very well (production for 2018 +3.7%; export + 3.6%) as well as that of refrigeration (production 2018 +4.2%; export + 4.3%).
To conclude, all sectors within the macro-sector have registered slight growth or, at worst, remained stable on previous results.