Italy Passes Dairy Country-Of-Origin Decree
Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has signed a country-of-origin labeling decree for milk and milk products such as yoghurt and cheese.
The decree, which has already been sent to the European Commission for approval, has been developed to boost small and medium-sized agricultural businesses in Italy, and reduce milk imports.
The initiative comes at a time when national milk consumption has dropped by 9.5 per cent, while the price of milk has fallen to €0.20 per litre on the market.
According to the national farmers’ association Coldiretti, Italy has become the world’s top milk importer, with about 24 million litres of milk and dairy products crossing into Italy every day. Three out of four long-life milk cartons sold in Italy are foreign, while half of the mozzarella cheese produced in Italy is made with milk imported from abroad.
An estimated 10 per cent of Italian dairy products have been made with foreign milk, in particular industrial pre-worked (curd), "mostly coming from Eastern Europe".
In a related development, grocery retailer Conad has announced that the 40 million litres of UHT milk marketed under its private label brand will all be of Italian origin.
According to Conad CEO, Francesco Pugliese, the decision to use only Italian milk “gives value to domestic companies, avoiding the closure of other stables and provides a defence to territories that produce food excellence”.
A recent survey revealed that 67 per cent of Italians would be prepared to pay more for milk if they knew it was of Italian origin.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.