FEATURES » The human cost of counterfeiting of Made in Italy Products

The human cost of counterfeiting of Made in Italy Products

According to the Report “ Agromafie” 2013 elaborated by Eurispes and Coldiretti  the counterfeiting of made in Italy food products has cost three hundred thousand jobs. However, this enormous damage could be absorbed with enforcement action at national and international levels. 

The report based on the data provided by the National Anti-mafia directorate estimates that 5 thousand local restaurants are in the hands of organized crime and that 15% of agricultural activities are illegal. 

The turnover of the false Made in Italy (including the imponderable phenomenon of Italian sounding words) in the food industry alone has exceeded 60 billion Euros. Nevertheless, in spite of the counterfeiting, this year, Italian exports will grow by 8 % to the historical record of 34 billion. 

There’s no limit to the creativity of falsifiers. For example Coldiretti found that in the UK is being sold a kit for the production (unauthorized) of Italian protected cheeses, from quality brands such as Parmesan, mozzarella and pecorino romano. 

The report “Agromafie 2013” estimates that the turnover of the crime reaches 14 billion, +12 % compared to two years ago. Agriculture and food are considered priority areas for investment by the Mafia, which controls in many areas the distribution and sometimes even the production of milk, meat, mozzarella, coffee, sugar, mineral water, flour, bread, butter, and especially fruit and vegetables.

As for the burial of toxic waste, the estimation is 724 thousand hectares contaminated, that is an extension equal to that of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The Minister of Agriculture, Nunzia De Girolamo announced a reorganization plan of AGEA (agency for the disbursement in agriculture). An amendment of the government will be presented (there is already an agreement with the Ministry of Economy and agriculture committees of the chamber of deputies and Senate) to the stability law that will reorganise the Agency for disbursement in agriculture, through which pass every year about 5 billion in Community contribution. The model  will be the State Property Agency with a presence throughout the country and with a self-coordination. 

Giulia Lombardo

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