The board of directors of the Specialty Food Association has announced that Bill Lynch has been named interim President.

Lynch previously held the position of Vice President of Engagement & Experience.

Bill Lynch came to the Specialty Food Association in 1999, when he joined the organization as Operations Manager for the Fancy Food Shows.

Lynch held several different roles before becoming manager of the SFA in 2012.

Bill is one of the principal leaders in the specialty food sector and in the trade show industry, and he is currently on several boards and committees in the cities of New York and San Francisco.

The Specialty Food Association and all of its members have held a special place in my heart for more than 20 years.
Pure passion is what connects me to this organization and its members.
I am truly honored to have the opportunity to lead and represent the women and men that make up the SFA staff, and I am very proud to work alongside a Board of Directors whose main goal is to help the members of the Specialty Food Association build their businesses and prosper,”
stated Lynch.

We have great confidence in Bill’s leadership and look forward to benefiting from his decades of experience in leadership roles across many areas of the SFA’s core business,” declared Charlie Apt, Vice Chair of SFA’s Board of Directors.

Italy has always been an important pillar, partner and supporter of the Specialty Food Association.
Its vision of food and the future of food is truly unique.
For more than 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure of creating, experiencing and sharing many important initiatives with Italy and with the people who represent this wonderful country; a bright and happy future together awaits us,
declared Bill Lynch.

We are very excited about Lynch being named President, declares Donato Cinelli, President of Universal Marketing, exclusive agent for Italy of the Specialty Food Association.

For more than 20 years, we have shared with Bill Lynch a passion for Italy and for our work.

Together we have faced the great change in the trade show system of the early 2000s, which involved an exponential development of the industry; today we are very glad to meet the great challenge of the future with him, namely “the trade show heart of the entertainment business” and we look forward to embarking on yet another adventure with President Lynch, Cinelli concludes.

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63 exhibitors with the ITA (Italian Trade Agency) at the largest trade exhibition in
the USA dedicated to private label products destined for major retailers

Chicago - Italy once again will be playing a leading role at the 39th edition of the Private Label Trade Show which opens its doors today at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont (Chicago), IL. This trade exhibition featuring a wide selection of food, beverages, health and beauty and household products manufactured under private brands, is the largest of its kind in North America.

The 63 Italian companies in the Italian Trade Agency’s pavilions occupy an exhibit area measuring 8,000 sq. ft. The official Italian participation is, once again, the largest international pavilion, both in terms of number of exhibiting companies and size of the exhibition area. There are two pavilions, one dedicated to food and beverages, with 57 exhibitors, and a second to non-food products with 6 exhibitors.

The sale in the US through the major retail distribution channels have had a positive effect on the Italian market shares on US imports of agri-food products, notes Marco Saladini, Trade Commissioner of the ITA’s Chicago office. Over the years, the ITA’s promotional activities in this sector have been strengthened to include new types of initiatives, such as customized educational and culinary training course for a wide range of employees of major US supermarket retailers.

In terms of perception, 85% of U.S. consumers believe that the quality of the private label products offered by major retailers is the same as that of brand products, while 61% believe it is higher.  In this context – notes Antonino Laspina, Director of the ITA office in New York and Coordinator of the U.S. Network of offices – Italy’s agri-food exports to the USA is performing tremendously: in the first 9 months of 2019 we have seen an increase of 5.9% compared to the same period last year, reaching 3.9 billion dollars. In 2018 our sales totaled USD 5.1 billion (an increase of 7.9% compared to 2017).

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Record-breaking Italy, Fancy Food partner for the second time,
no one has ever received this recognition.

NEW YORK (October 29, 2019) – The Specialty Food Association is proud to announce that Italy will be the PARTNER COUNTRY for both of this year’s Fancy Food Shows:

  • Winter Fancy Food Show, January 19 to 21, 2020, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco

  • Summer Fancy Food Show, June 28 to 30, 2020, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York

Italy’s achievement is an absolute first, no one has ever received this recognition from the Specialty Food Association, the show’s owner and produer.

The Specialty Food Association is the largest food network in the United States, founded in 1952 in New York, by importers and business owners. It is a non-profit association with 3,000 members in the United States and abroad.

The Fancy Food Show is the largest trade event dedicated to specialty foods in North America and many industry workers consider its New York summer edition to be among the top food shows in the world.

Italy was already the partner country in 2015, but just for the Summer show, and in 2016 for the Winter show; now it will be the partner country for all of 2020.

This is the first time that a country has the opportunity to be the partner country twice.

Under the banner, “The Extraordinary Italian Taste,” food companies from nearly every region in Italy will present the excellence of Authentic Italian Food to the world of restaurants, print retails and stakeholders.

“We are very privileged that Italy will be the first country to partner with us for both Winter and Summer Shows in 2020,” said Phil Kafarakis, SFA’s president. “The popularity of Italian cuisine in the U.S. is undeniable. Historically, among our dozens of international participants at Fancy Food Shows over the years, Italy has routinely hosted the largest pavilion. At our Summer Show in 2019, the Italian pavilion covered over 24,000 square feet!

Americans love Italian cuisine and Italian specialty foods have played an important historic role in expanding the appetite for global flavors in the United States. Today, even as we see expanding disruption in consumer eating habits, authentic and innovative Italian products continue to be influential across all channels. We’re excited to see what they will be bringing to the 2020 Fancy Food Shows.” Phil Kafarakis concludes

At the Winter Fancy Food Show 2020, Italy will be present with more than 60 companies. declares Maurizio Forte, Director of the ICE Agency in New York and Coordinator of the USA network

Once again, we will be the most numerous country pavilion, thanks to the consolidated alliance between ICE Agency, Specialty Food Association and Universal Marketing.

The entire range of authentic Italian products will be on display: cheese, pasta, prosciutto and salumi, olive oil, preserves, condiments, desserts, mineral waters and much more.

The intensive cooking show program hosted by the ICE Lounge will allow visitors to enjoy Italian products right there and then and appreciate the innovation capacity of our companies.

Being nominated 2020 Country-Partner by the show organizers is an honor: Maurizio Forte concludes a recognition for always being the country with the highest number of exhibitors and, also, for the excellence of the products our exhibitors bring to the show.

The teamwork of Italian institutions with SFA and its exclusive agent for Italy Universal Marketing offers, edition after edition, new stimuli and opportunities for the promotion of the authentic Made in Italy on the US market.

Italian food represents a standard of excellence in the United States,” states Donato Cinelli, President of Universal Marketing, exclusive agent for Italy of the Specialty Food Association.

Italy is the largest international pavilion at the Fancy Food Shows, and through the years it has contributed in no small measure to the show’s strength and quality.

When, 25 years ago, we accepted the challenge, and we took part in creating the Italy pavilion within the Summer Fancy Food in New York,” Cinelli continues, “we never thought even for a moment that we would be able to reach these goals.

To announce today, from New York, that Italy will be the partner country for Fancy Food for all of 2020 is beyond our wildest expectations.

We’re very proud of this,” Cinelli concludes. “Step by step, we’ve seen the growth of Italian business owners, districts and consortiums, which over time have understood the importance of telling their product’s story; today America is fascinated by stories of Made in Italy quality and success.

Thanks, first of all, to our partners, such as the Specialty Food Association, ICE, Federalimentare, Cibus, TuttoFood and Vinitaly, with whom we’ve created a winning team over the years.”

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A project from the Pordenone-Udine Chamber of Commerce and PromoTurismoFVG, in collaboration with the regional Chambers of Commerce

From October 1 to 31, 2019, in Eataly stores in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, Flatiron, the regional food and wine of Friuli Venezia Giulia with take the stage, with its famous wines and excellent local products, such as Prosciutto di San Daniele and Montasio cheese, as well as its oil and sweets and other specialties to discover. An entire month in the most important shop display in the United States.

Within this context, the Pordenone-Udine Chamber of Commerce wanted to initiate a marketing plan for their territory, joining the brand notoriety of a banner product like tiramisù with the uniqueness of Carnia and the region as a whole. The project is conceived for a new promotion of the territory, tied to the high-quality product beloved the world over. In fact, partnering in the initiative is “Mirabilia Network” which promotes lesser known UNESCO sites and their surrounding territories internationally, and which contributes to highlighting the scenic beauty and the Italian historical heritage through the creation of promotional tools and services, fostering networks between companies.

Everything revolves around the recipe for tiramisù from Tolmezzo, given to us by Norma Pielli of Albergo Roma, which will be offered on Wednesday, October 9 at La Scuola at the Eataly in Chicago, in a special masterclass. Present at the event will be:

Sergio Emidio Bini, Counselor for Economic Affairs of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region;

Giovanni Da Pozzo, President of the Pordenone-Udine Chamber of Commerce and Promos Italia (Italian agency for internationalization)

Talking about the recipe and its history will be Daniele Macuglia, originally from Tolmezzo, and Visiting Research Fellow at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago.

Having a representative like tiramisù to promote the territory is a great opportunity for us, but it is also a great responsibility,” states Giovanni Da Pozzo, President of the Pordenone-Udine Chamber of Commerce.

In the birthplace of communication and marketing like the U.S.,” Da Pozzo continues, “having a storytelling vehicle like tiramisù to explain all the industriousness and ability of our territory is truly an extra gear.”

Our job,” Presidente Da Pozzo concludes, “is to highlight to the utmost this competitive advantage that makes us unique.”

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