True Prosecco hails from the fertile lands of north-east Italy, but markets across the globe have been infiltrated by bubbly produced elsewhere but carrying the same name.
The trend has now hit Crimea – annexed by Russia a year ago despite international opposition – according to Coldiretti.
Such a phenomenon has curbed celebrations of Italy’s growing presence in the fizzy wine market, with an estimated 320 million bottles exported last year. Last year the France imported more Italian fizzy wine than Italy did Champagne, Coldiretti said, a great gain for the bel paese against its French rivals.
But globally Italian-style products made abroad now outnumber those exported from Italy.
Roberto Moncalvo, Coldiretti president, said such counterfeiting cost Italy as many as 300,000 jobs, which could be created if fake Italian products are combated with international support.
“The true enemies abroad are the low-cost imitations of national (Italian) foods that don’t have any ties with the production system of the country,” he said.
Consumers are not only buying up fake Italian wines, but also foods such as Parmesan produced in the US. There are now more wheels of cheese styled as as Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, which both hail from central Italy, produced abroad than in Italy.