On 4 September 2016 the Italian Government and Alibaba, Chinese trading on-line giant, with more that 430 million users, have signed an agreement for the protection and promotion of Italian agro-food products.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry stated that, thanks to this agreement,
“Italy is the only State in the world to have guaranteed to the PDO and PGI products the same protection that trademarks have on the e-commerce platform. The agreement with Alibaba to fight counterfeiting began last year and the numbers are impressive: it has been prevented the monthly sale of 99thousand tons of fake Parmesan cheese, 10 times more than the original production, or of 13 million bottles of Prosecco that did not come from Veneto region. With this agreement the protection is extended by B2B platform, accessible only to companies, to 2bc, assuring to 430 million users of the users of the network of Alibaba that they will buy real made in Italy.”
With regard to the repression of counterfeiting, the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry states that:
“In order to identify fake goods, the Ministry of Agriculture has set up a task force of the Inspectorate of repression frauds that daily searches for counterfeit products and report them to Alibaba. Within three days the ads are removed and the salespeople are informed that they are usurping the Italian geographical indications”.