What Is the Italian Sounding Phenomenon?

According to Confagricoltura, “Made in Italy”is now recording a turnover loss of €6 million every hour. These numbers are shocking to say the least, all caused by what is referred to as “Italian sounding.” Italian sounding phenomenon refers to creating images, colors and names of products very similar to their Italian equivalent. This is despite the fact that these imitations have no connection to the Italian originals they have been made to look and sound like. They don’t have the same “Made in Italy” excellence and they have no link to Italy’s traditions and culture, yet they are raking in millions every hour using the Made in Italy imitation.

Grated Italian topping

Many products sold as Parmesan have nothing to do with the real Parmigiano Reggiano – Source

More Incredible Copied Food Statistics.

Half of everything Italian being sold is actually an imitation, according to statistics collected in the European Union alone. Obviously, we are talking about a widespread phenomenon that everybody seems to know about. You might not be familiar with the term “Italian Sounding”, but you most probably know a thing or two about these imitations.

Confagricoltura notes that in a year, over €54 billion is lost as people buy fakes and imitations of Made in Italy products. These imitations are costing the industry €48 billion more that what the food industry loses to food piracy. This clearly shows that these Italian sounding products are a real threat to the original Made in Italy brands.

Companies involved with these Italian sounding products take advantage of the grey areas in the counterfeit laws. While food piracy is illegal, it is not against the law to create a product that sounds and looks like a Made in Italy product. What this means is that there are no legal grounds for discontinuing the production of such products which are using the Made in Italy association to make a profit at the expense of the original Made in Italy products. The only way to effectively deal with this trade is through international regulations and agreements. Through such agreements, traders can be compelled to clearly make available information about the raw materials they have used and even their product-making process.

There is a real need to take legal steps in solving this problem, especially in such countries like Canada and the United States where just one of ten Made in Italy products sold is authentic. Today in Italy, only eight percent of the country’s total exports are agricultural and alimentary. For authentic Italian businesses to reacquire their competitive edge in the international market, this grey area that the Italian sounding is occupying must be eliminated.

Who buys Fake Italian Food.

Most foreign consumers buy fake or imitated Italian unknowingly, meaning information on how to tell apart the fake, the imitation and the original is desperately needed. “For this reason, it is necessary to launch information and promotion campaigns so that foreign consumers can learn how to recognise a fake,” notes the agricultural body. Confagricoltura recommends that the board at the WTO discuss how to protect “the indication of geographical origin community system” as well as come up with a definition of the acceptable productive process in environmental and social fields.


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