Italian news and events Australia

Italian Tomato Celebration


On the 28th of April at Sydney’s Osteria Balla Manfredi

The Italian Trade Agency has collaborated with The Council of Italian Restaurants in Australia (CIRA) to showcase the Italian preserved tomato and its industry to an Australian audience. Italy is responsible for approximately 13% of the world's production of tomatoes, placing it third in the world after the USA and China. In 2015, 5.4 million tonnes of tomatoes were processed in Italy.

The Italian tomato industry value currently totals 4.7 billion AUD with 2.3 billion AUD in exports. Just over half of the tomatoes are sourced from the central and southern areas of Italy and the remainder are from Northern Italy.

The production method of Italian tinned tomatoes is unique in the world because they are ripened to perfection on the vine before being preserved, giving them the sought after, full-bodied taste and quality that characterises Italian tomatoes.

To celebrate this highly valued Italian product, the Italian Trade Agency and CIRA have brought together five of Australia’s most notable Italian chefs for a special industry-only event on 28 April at Sydney’s Osteria Balla Manfredi: Head Chef at Osteria Balla Manfredi, Gabriele Taddeucci; Giovanni Pilu of Pilu at Freshwater; Eugenio Maiale of A Tavola; Francesco Spataro of Aperitivo; and Danny Russo of Russolini.

"We are really excited to host this special event and to bring together five of Australia’s most respected Italian chefs for what is set to be an informative and culinary experience," says Italian Trade Commissioner, Antonietta Baccanari. "Preserved tomatoes form the base of many of the world’s most well-loved and popular dishes and this event will be a creative showcase of how the tomatoes can be used in cooking."

Annibale Pancrazio, who is an industry expert and owner of Pancrazio Spa, the leading Italian company in the canned vegetable industry, will also visit Australia for a talk on tinned tomato production in Italy and its positive impact on Australian food.

"Australia is a country that is renowned for its rich and diverse food culture," adds Baccanari. "I hope this event will communicate to both industry professionals and consumers the importance of working with genuine Italian ingredients to create authentic recipes."

The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) is the government organisation that promotes the internationalisation of Italian companies, in line with the strategies of the Ministry for Economic Development. ITA provides information, support and advice to Italian and foreign companies and promotes the importance of "Made in Italy" around the world.

Quick Facts

  • In Italy, tomato growers and the tomato processing industries must follow guidelines of the Integrated Production by ANICAV (National Association of Processed Vegetables Industries).
  • Integrated Production sees priority given to eco-friendly growing techniques, reducing the use of pesticides and other chemicals.
  • 80% of tomatoes for the processing industry are harvested mechanically, using sophisticated machinery, of which Italy is a world leader.
  • The remaining 20% of tomatoes are harvested by hand, which is essential for some special varieties produced following specific rules called for by high quality brands.
  • One of the most notable and well known tomato varieties that requires hand picking is San Marzano plum tomatoes, which are considered among the best in the world.

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