Urge for Changes in Italy
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
During a meeting organized by the Agriculture Ministry, two top farming associations - the Italian Farmers Confederation (CIA) and Coldiretti - stated the need for a major overhaul and for legislative support in order to cope with the boom in public demand.
CIA President Giuseppe Politi sees a need for a sustainable support framework in the shape of infrastructure as warehousing, packaging and processing as well as wide-scale distribution to improve the market for organic products in the country. The sector has grown by 21.7 % over the last year, placing Italy first in Europe. He also claimed that especially small and medium sized businesses would need help. Simplifying legislation on health, bureaucracy and tax, setting up collective workshops and triggering interest among restaurateurs and local tourism promotional bodies would be effective strategies.
Coldiretti’s Secretary Franco Pasquali shared this opinion and underlined the need for a special label for Italian organic food in order to catch up with countries like France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden and Denmark, who have made this move a long time ago. He described the label as vital in order to support the recent turnaround in Italian organic production – the sector saw a boom in 2005 with increases in the area of land and in the number of farmers involved and – for the first time – a drop in the number of importers (6%).
A Coldiretti survey published at SANA suggested that 71 % of Italians purchase organic food in 2005; two-thirds of the questioned stated they would buy more if they were guaranteed Italian produce. Most likely, the typical purchaser tends to be an employed, university graduated 30 – 49 year old, living in a big city, rather in the North than in the South of Italy.
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