According to figures published by the Ministry of Agriculture, measures implemented to protect Italian produce have been extremely successful: 107,000 controls were carried out involving a sum of 81 million euros
2015 was certainly the year for combating counterfeits and promoting the excellence of Italian produce
According to the latest figures published by the Ministry of Agriculture, over the past year more than 107,000 checks were carried out for a total of 81 million euros worth of seized goods in the Italian agro-food sector. More than 10 thousand fines were also issued and over 1,700 people were reported to legal authorities.
The main tools employed by the Ministry, particularly include the Single Register of Controls as an essential way to avoid duplicating checks on farms and streamline the work of the authorities, which in 2015 involved more than 2,700 official visits. Measures to expose internet fraud were also extremely important: thanks to collaboration begun with leading e-commerce players worldwide, such as eBay and Alibaba, about 400 reports were recorded. In 2015, on Alibaba alone, a potential monthly flow of 15,100 tons of counterfeit gorgonzola was blocked, as well as 2 million litres of fake Modena balsamic vinegar and almost 13 million bottles of fake Prosecco.
All this is being achieved by always paying special attention to the indications provided on the label and product traceability, but above all by ensuring the wholesomeness and safety of foods sold on the market so that fair and transparent information is provided to consumers. This approach is vital in order to safeguard the Italian agro-food industry as a whole. According to the latest Coldiretti figures, counterfeit Italian produce achieved turnover in excess of 60 billion euros, with almost two products out of 3 so-called Italian products for sale on the international market that are not in any way Italian. The most commonly counterfeited products include cheese, followed by delicatessen meats and conserves such as canned tomatoes.
These are incredibly large numbers when one bears in mind that exports of Italian agro-foods in 2014 came to “only” 34.3 billion euros, an increase of 2.7% over the previous year, while the total turnover for the Italian food industry came to 132 billion euros. In the EU alone, the turnover for fake produce is worth 22 billion euros.