English News

Wine Meridian's English News The best news about the Italian wine world addressed to an international audience.
English News Mercoledi 22 Giugno 2022

Protection Consortium: an alarming diversity

From the The Round Table for the Laboratorio Gavi analysis, realized by Astarea, it emerges a "communication" context of the Protection Consortium very diversified and far from the companies and denominations’ needs.

di Fabio Piccoli

“Finally, an appointment where it was possible to concretely talk about the wine communication, about the importance of the contents and not just about the communication instruments”. It rightly underlined so the great Anna Scafuri, face of the food and wine of the TG1 which moderate on March 21st in Milan the event of Assegnazione of the 8th edition of Premio Gavi La Buona Italia.
In fact, it was a precious event to understand the “communication health state” of the Italian Protection consortium in particular. And, considering that the promotion is one of the key assignments of the Protection Consortium, analyzing how these important institutions move in this direction is precious to understand how efficient the actual communication of our denomination is at the present state, especially in international markets.

Therefore, the survey that The Round Table for the Laboratorio Gavi assigned to Astarea was truly precious to better understand the communication activity of 123 Protection Consortium, especially on the web front.

What came out is a picture with lights but also shadows that, in my opinion, prevailed respect to the first ones. Let us be honest: it did not strike us, for example, observing that almost 30% of the Consortium taken into examination have their company website only in Italian. In the same short list, all of the final Consortium’s websites had at least the English language but just half of them pushes towards a third language, in 7 cases over 16 represented by German.

But the “language” is just one of the many problems of the Protection Consortium online communication. Actually, we could affirm that the Consortium website is some kind of mirror of the problems of many Consortium Italian realities that still nowadays struggle to grant their assignment, especially regarding the last low which controls them, the 238/2016 which vastly increased the role in the front of promotion.


The 4 Consortium models in Italy

We wrote the four types of Consortium many times in our articles and it is the product of a long collaboration and relationship experience with Italian Protection Consortium: the communicative task has been for the majority of our Consortium realities above their true capacities.
It was, to some extent, inevitable considering that almost every Protection Consortium has inside very few human resources and larger part of them is specialized in more technical or normative aspects rather than in marketing and communication. Also, looking at some Italian Protection Consortium directors' recent hiring we can realize that it is preferred to choose more “technician” rather than expert in communication and marketing.

These are choice that translate into Protection Consortium objective difficulties into the definition of communication strategies that must not only be efficient, but they also need to have a precise target with clear goals.
All of this emerged clearly in the great research realized by Astarea which highlighted the presence of these 4 Consortium models in our Country:

  • Promoter Consortium: in which only the Consortium is highlighted and it only refers to the cellars’ address which would be otherwise left outside their storytelling
  • System Consortium: in which the Consortium emerges as a protagonist and, at the same time, it generates a system giving value to the cellars’ role.
  • Functional Consortium: in which the Consortium aims to affirm its identity, sustaining wine production and promotion with the offer of information and service that are functional to the cellars’ activity.
  • Value Consortium: in which the consortium, remaining one step back, supports the cellars to which it offers a valuable digital environment inside of which it is possible to story tell.


This is a very useful classification to understand the different visions and setting of the Italian Protection Consortium, even if the research did not clarify if these models are the fruit of a precise strategy or a mere consequence of a non-clear vision from many of them.

“I fear – underlined Giulio Somma, managing director of the Corriere Vitivinicolo, the historical weekly publication by Unione Italiana Vini – that many Consortium still do not know clearly what and to whom communicate. And this often brings to a major focusing on communication instruments rather than to contents. I think that this great heterogeneity of the Protection Consortium is often determine by a non-clear definition of their mission. And if there is no clear mission it is difficult to be efficient even in the promotion and the protection of our very own stakeholder’s interests”.

The research underlined that many other aspects deserve to be deepened in other articles which we will bring to our readers soon.