• Photo: Coldiretti

23.05.2024 By: Andreas Haug

Artikel Nummer: 49705

To counter ‘fake in Italy’

Angry eagle-eyed farmers at the Brenner Pass. A large contingent from the Italian agricultural association Coldiretti looked over customs officials’ shoulders on the border with Austria for two days recently – and witnessed a whole series of ‘lorries from hell’, with a plethora of potentially misdeclared goods.

On 8 and 9 April more than 10,000 farmers, according to the organisers, further narrowed the already rather narrow road bottleneck at the Brenner Pass between Austria and Italy. The association Coldiretti said that they had come from every region of the country to shout “basta!” – with the support of Italy’s law enforcement agencies – to foreign foods being passed off as Italian goods.

In the end approximately 100 trucks were stopped, with the subsequent inspections bringing curious loads to light. They included Danish pork on its way to the ham metropolis Modena; Indian grapes destined for Novara; and Czech bread headed for Altamura, a town in Puglia famous for its crusty bread.

There was also fresh fish from the Netherlands destined for Ferrara in the Po Delta, which itself is rich in fish; and tomatoes from the Netherlands destined for Verona – and declared as the San Marzano variety.

Coldiretti described this rather dubious trade in goods as more than mockery, calling it something of a tragedy for Coldiretti’s members.

Call for a new European law

The mobilisation at the Brenner Pass marked the start of a drive to collect signatures to call for a European law to extend the indication of origin on the label of all goods on the market in the union.

This would give consumers greater transparency when purchasing goods. According to Coldiretti president Ettore Prandini, “simply too many foreign products seem to become Italian just when they cross the border into our national territory.”


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