ASSALCO INTERVIEW - GIANMARCO FERRARI
What expectations do you have for Zoomark, being held in person?
We are delighted to have the opportunity to take part in an in-person event once more. We hope to see a high number of exhibitors and visitors, not only because this will be the first trade show in our industry since the acute phase of the pandemic, but also because the progress of the vaccination campaign gives us hope that domestic and international professionals will be able to attend. BolognaFiere has adopted extremely scrupulous anti-Covid measures, meaning that the event will be able to take place in total safety.
The whole pet industry has seen an impressive increase in sales. Will this growth continue in 2021? And after that?
The market grew in 2020, reflecting the key role that pets played in Italian families during the difficult months of the lockdown. Yet it has to be said that the industry was also growing prior to that, proof of the consolidated fact that pets are seen as bona fide members of the family, and the widespread awareness of the physical and psychological benefits linked to owning and taking care of pets.
The market is growing because owners are increasingly committed to ensuring that their animals get a nutritionally balanced, healthy diet, and they want to provide all the products and accessories that their pets need, both in the home and when out and about.
We believe this positive trend will continue into 2021 and beyond.
Although pets are so important to families, we at ASSALCO sadly have to point out that in our country pet food and veterinary care are still burdened by a VAT rate of 22%, the same rate applied to luxury goods. In other countries such as Germany, VAT is 7%, one third of what Italians pay. Pet food is an essential, and veterinary services are indispensable for ensuring pet health, so it is imperative to reduce taxes. We are urging the government to place these products and services in the 10% subsidized VAT bracket.
What role does digital play in the pet industry? What do you think is it most useful for, and more specifically, how can Zoomark capitalize on the potential of the internet?
Zoomark's decision to complement the in-person event with a digital support will undoubtedly boost the visibility of the event and as a consequence that of the exhibitors. It will also enable all the professionals who are unable to come to Bologna and visit the show, due to health and travel restrictions, to take part in the event.