Are Ciao Bella Pizza Ovens Made In China?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with selling a product made in China. In some industries it can be difficult, or even impossible to avoid using some raw materials sourced from Chinese factories. This is somewhat true in the pizza oven industry, where many of the raw materials are produced to serve steel and other manufacturing industries that have shrunk dramatically in the past 20 years. In fact, many (most?) of the industrial companies that provided materials to the steel industry have shrunk, gone bankrupt, merged, etc. It isn’t a pretty picture. It’s a bit like the California Condor, the large scavenging bird that is at risk of going extinct because its primary sources of food, including wooly mammoths, are already extinct. The US suppliers to refactor materials lost their main sources of income.

But there is a line that a number of pizza oven producers cross, where they are basically importing low-cost Chinese ovens and doing everything humanely possible to hide that fact. For us, willfully hiding the country of original for their products, and even the country where their products are designed, is just too much. The “designed in Italy” description, and the abuse of the word “authentic” is simply wrong. These ovens are designed and manufactured in China, and the importer has very little control over standards, quality, design, safety certifications, or anything else. We would argue that it shows poor ethical standards from the importer.

One good example is Ciao Bella Pizza Ovens, a Canadian importer of Chinese-made ovens from a number of different Chinese factories, that blatantly uses the term “Authentic Italian Designed Pizza Ovens” right next to an image of a Fiamma pizza oven—an oven designed and manufactured in China by Oven Designs, and shipped fully-packaged to the US in individually labeled crates, by a company that is readily findable on Alibaba.com, whose website clearly states that they are looking for distributors.

Again, there is nothing wrong with importing pizza ovens from China. Lot’s of people do it. But let’s be honest about it.

Why is it important? Beyond the ethics of hiding the true source of a product, there are legitimate concerns over who is responsible for a product. Which company applied for the safety certifications? Who is responsible for the product in the event of something going wrong? Are you actually purchasing a product where the responsible party is the original manufacturer located in China?

On a less important side of the scale, there is the valid question of who is actually designing your oven? Are they someone who understands how pizza ovens work, and is experienced designing for real-world usage? Are they experts in their field? Or are they simply copying someone else’s products, without really understanding how they work?