Italy's Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali (Ministry of Food and Forestry Policies), has declared that the origin of rice and wheat products, particularly wheat used in pasta, must be indicated on product labels, following the signing of two decrees by ministers Maurizio Martina and Carlo Calenda. The measure will be gradually introduced to enable companies to adhere to the new ruling, which will become law in February 2018.
“By mid-February, we will finally have more transparent labels on the origin of rice and wheat for pasta,” said Martina. “Our aim is to give maximum transparency to consumer information.”
Specifically, the decree declares that pasta labels must include the name of the country in which the wheat used was cultivated and milled.
With regard to durum wheat, if at least 50% of the wheat used is grown in one country (such as Italy), the tag 'Italy and other EU and/or non-EU countries' should be used.
For rice, packaging must include the country in which the product is cultivated, processed and packaged. The indications must be visibly marked on the labels, as well as being recognisable.
A recent survey carried out by the ministry indicated that more than 85% of Italians are looking for greater transparency on pasta and wheat labels, due to safety standards.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Francesca Volpe. Click subscribe to sign up for ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.