Italy and France have teamed up to protect and promote products with protected designation of origin and geographical indication in the EU and third countries.
The commitment stems from the so-called 'Quirinale Treaty' signed on 26 November 2021 in Rome by the presidents of Italy and France, Mario Draghi and Emmanuel Macron, which dedicates a specific section to agriculture and food production.
The intention is to combat counterfeiting of Italian and French food excellences that mislead consumers and have a negative impact on the economies of both countries.
According to Italian farmers lobby group Coldiretti, international agro-piracy affects symbolic Italian products, from Parmesan cheese to Prosecco, provolone cheese to pecorino romano, and salami to mortadella. It also impacts French products, such as Champagne, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Cognac and, among cheese, brie and camembert.
Speaking about Nutri-Score colour labelling, French Agriculture Minister, Julien Denormandie, stressed that the French government will never make it compulsory unless it is established at EU level, adding that an “important synergy” has been created on this issue after initial perplexity over Nutri-Score” expressed by Draghi.
Coldiretti points out that both countries are opposed to “misleading, discriminatory and incomplete information” stemming from the nutritional labelling system, that “paradoxically ends up excluding from the diet healthy and natural foods in favour of artificial products”.
Food Waste Reduction
Italy and France will also support measures to combat food waste and risk management, as well as sustainable development projects in the agri-food chain and organic farming, with the aim of contributing to the preservation of soil fertility and biodiversity.
In addition, they will support projects to combat deforestation, in particular within the framework of the Amsterdam Declaration Partnership.
According to Coldiretti, Italy and France are two European countries with the greatest culinary tradition and compete for first place in agriculture and food, with Italy leading in the number of PDO/PGI products recognised by the EU, the number of organic companies and the quantity of wine produced.
Italian agriculture ranks first in Europe in terms of added value with €31.3 billion, slightly ahead of France at €30.2 billion.
From this year, Italy has become the largest wine producer in the world, with 44.5 million hl, followed by Spain and France.