(AGI) Rome, Dec 2 - Exports of Italian canned tomatoesincreased by 20 percent in sales value in the U.S. in 2015,according to an analysis by farmers' association Coldiretti.The information was presented at a meeting of ANICAV, theItalian association of canned vegetable industries. The U.S. isthe biggest non-EU destination for these Italian products.Italian processed tomato sales worldwide grew by 6 percent inthe first eight months of 2015 compared to the previous year."This is due to the impetus of the economic recovery, thefavourable exchange rate and the propulsive effect of Expo"said President of Coldiretti Roberto Moncalvo recalling thatU.S. first lady Michelle Obama on her visit to Italy said thatyou can make a delicious meal with a packet of pasta, tomatoesand basil in just 30 minutes. "The Italian tomato has allthe qualities to grasp the new international trends inconsumption which recognise the identity of Brand Italy and thehealth benefits of the Mediterranean diet of which it is a keycomponent," said Mr Moncalvo. "In order not to squander theheritage of credibility gained we need to work on legality andtransparency with the extension to all derivatives, fromconcentrate to sauces, of the obligation to indicate the originof the tomato, already in force in Italy for sieved tomatoes.This requirement is in response to the 567 percent rise in thefirst eight months of imports of tomato paste from China, whichhas become the biggest supplier. This is also withoutforgetting the need to overcome the customs barriers stillpresent in some major countries like the U.S., wherecompetitiveness on canned Italian tomatoes is limited by theheavy duties that are even more unacceptable in the light ofthe opening of the free trade talks," he concluded. According to Coldiretti's analysis, processed tomatoes areamong the leaders of the Italian food and agriculture industry,with a strong propensity to exports, given that around 60percent of the derivatives go to international markets. . .