Compose the first editorial of Italian Bottling World is an exciting and challenging exercise. In this particular case, sometimes, one runs the risk of being banal, rhetoric, or worse, to promise what can not be maintained. We would like to make this magazine a valuable communication tool between the Italian beverage industry (wine, beer, olive oil etc.) and the foreign markets. For this reason we are providing companies and readers with a space, where they can find scientific and technological contributions that will try to be really useful and not just celebratory of the “magnificent and progressive” destinies of those who live daily the effort to innovate, develop and grow the bottling Italian business. We will do our best to ensure “Bottling machinery world” will be not only a magazine to browse online with interest but it will be also a real business tool for those who reading an article always hope to have at least a new idea, food for thought, a contribution to the solution of one of their problems. The first important message that we feel to give is: the Italian beverage industry is very well and alive. Of course, our companies are facing major strategic and technological challenges, and probably they will never return to compete where there is high labor intensity processing, but certainly they will continue to win when excellence and quality are the dominant themes, economies of scale count for little, and history and past investments are strong points. In our country, we still have imbalances and historical contradictions, but we also have companies exporting almost their entire production. I refer both to beverage industry and to mechanical industry (equipments, filling and packaging machines). For many of these companies would have been easier and probably cost effective to relocate, but they decided to continue to produce in Italy, to involve subcontractors and to create satellite activities geographically close. They have invested in internationalization, succeeding in viewing for size and quality in the globalized world. In 2012, the wealth deriving from these small and medium-sized enterprises was the real hook of the Italian food industry and economy and created job opportunities for satellite firms. A recent survey by Winenews showed that, in spite of the still unstable not to say “suffering” economic situation, the Italian cellars foresee a good 2013. The domestic consumption of wine is likely to remain below 40 liters per capita/year, but exports should continue to give good satisfaction. Last year it exceeded € 4.7 billion (historical record). The same goes for the production of equipments and machinery for filling and packaging where the trumps of Italian companies still are the high-quality technological solutions proposed, the ability to customize supply and implementation, an impeccable after-sales service all over the world, strong competition due to coexistence of large integrated groups and little and medium sized companies, characterized by a high specialization degree. The key to the gradual penetration of these products to overseas markets was the skilful exploitation of the “Italianità” that in the beverage supply chain has one of its greatest expressions. All over the world, Italian wine, olive oil and, more recently, craft beer are still a plus value that makes a difference from the competitors; it’s the excellence that supports the strategies based on the Made in Italy.
Maria Zemira Nociti