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Supply Chain

Italy Mandates Origin Labelling For Rice, Wheat Products

Italy has introduced a two-year trial that will see the introduction of mandatory origin labelling for rice and wheat for pasta.

The new legislation was introduced by Italy's Ministero delle Politiche Agricole (Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies) and the Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico (Ministry of Economic Development). It follows a similar measure for dairy products that has been in place since April.

The guidelines dictate that the origin should be affixed to the label of certain products in a clear place so that it is easily-recognisable, clearly legible and indelible. With regard to timing, the measures envisage a 180-day phase to adapt the companies to the new system and the disposal of labels and packaging already produced.

The grain/pasta decree, in particular, stipulates that the dry pasta packaging produced in Italy must indicate on the label the country of grain cultivation and where it was ground. As far as rice is concerned, the country of cultivation, processing and packaging must be indicated.

Consumer Demand

According to the Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, over 80% of Italians considers it important to know the origin of raw materials due to issues related to food safety standards, particularly for pasta and rice.

The Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, pointed out that “Italy has decided to make this historic step without waiting for Brussels", adding that the “EU has shown an unacceptable hesitancy on this issue”.

He pointed out that Italy aims to give maximum transparency to consumer information, to protect producers, and to strengthen the relationships between the two chains that are of fundamental importance for the agro-food sector.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine

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