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With over 500 billion in value, the agri-food chain is one of the sectors that contributes most to the formation of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Thanks to a quality recognized in the world, but also to a control system that, if at times it appears hypertrophic and cumbersome, is a world reference model in its effectiveness, protecting the health of consumers and companies that work honestly. And that, even in the 2020 of the pandemic, albeit with all the limitations we have come to know, has worked at full speed. According to the report of the Inspectorate of Quality and Fraud Repression of the Ministry of Agriculture (ICQRF), there were 70,992 anti-fraud controls, of which 58,824 inspections and 12,168 analytical. The inspected operators were 37,508 and the products checked 77,080. The irregularities concerned 11% of the products, while 7.4% of the samples analyzed were found to be irregular.
159 reports of crime, 4,119 administrative disputes, in addition to 4,762 warnings issued against operators, with over 22 million kilos of goods seized, for a value of 21 million euros.
The controls, explains the ICQRF, concerned over 90% of food products and 10% of technical means for agriculture (feed, fertilizers, seeds, plant protection products). With reference to the individual agri-food sectors, 26,332 controls involved the wine sector, by far the most controlled sector (overall 12,062 operators controlled, with irregularities found in 18.7% of cases, for 30,752 products controlled, of which 10 were irregular, 4%, including documentary or labeling irregularities), 10,646 olive oil, 6,856 dairy, 3,445 cereals and derivatives, 3,191 fruit and vegetables, 3,166 vegetable preserves, 3,016 the meat sector, 1,794 spirit drinks, 1,556 honey, 467 eggs, 382 sugary substances and 4,099 other sectors.
Among the various products, Prosecco is confirmed as one of the most affected internationally. Between 2015 and 2020, the Italian supervisory authorities carried out over 4,000 interventions outside Italy. 1,085 concerned Prosecco, followed at a distance by Parmigiano Reggiano (493), while 283 concerned the subject of wine kits. Still, on an e-commerce that in the pandemic has acquired a more important role than in the past, in 2020 the ICQRF blocked 1,079 cases of irregular sales on the web (almost all on Ebay), with the most affected products being the ‘extra virgin olive oil (in particular from Puglia, Calabria and Tuscany), and still Prosecco and Parmigiano Reggiano.
“Italy stands out for its identity and the high quality characteristics of its agri-food productions. Our country, with 870 products registered as Geographical Indications – underlines the Minister of Agricultural Policies, Stefano Patuanelli – it preserves a real cultural heritage, unique in Europe. The enhancement and protection of Made in Italy, by contrasting all those fraudulent behaviors that undermine correct market relations, is among the strategic priorities at a national level. At the same time, it is increasingly necessary to ensure an adequate level of protection for consumers, to guarantee them informed and safe purchasing choices, through the implementation of a highly specialized control system in all sectors of the agri-food sector. The ICQRF has made an important contribution to the protection of the agri-food sector, as demonstrated by the results obtained and presented below. It is my intention to work for the further strengthening of the control system, in order to guarantee even higher standards of legality and, in this way, to contribute to the protection of the quality and safety of the products marketed on our markets, in line with the needs of consumer protection and safeguarding our businesses “.


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Marco Ribaudo

Marco Ribaudo

For the love of food and wine! Marco Ribaudo, Certified Sommelier, with 25 years in the food and beverage industry now invites you to join him in his latest adventure, the opening of la Cucina del Vino to share his culture and passion for creating unforgettable memories around the table.

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