Goodbye to Italian pasta? From 2022 everything can change

We may have to say goodbye to 100% Italian pasta. What comes from Coldiretti is a real cry of alarm. What happen? It happens that, in addition to the high prices triggered by increases in international grain prices, related to halving of harvests in Canada, the first producer in the world, at the end of the year in Italy the obligation to label the origin of the wheat used expires.

Because Italy imports pasta

The immediate consequence is that we really risk finding in supermarkets, and therefore on our tables, a pasta that is not entirely made in Italy.

In spite of what one might think, Italy is not the first but the second world producer of pasta, with a quantity of 3.85 million tons, behind precisely the Canada. In the North American country – perhaps not everyone knows – it is even allowed the use of glyphosate in pre-collection, a modality that is absolutely forbidden by us.

And – a detail by no means negligible – just Italy is also the main importer of pasta from Canada: our country is forced to import about 40% of the wheat it needs and is therefore particularly dependent on fluctuations and speculations on the markets.

Because? Because many companies in our house, Coldiretti complains, instead of guaranteeing supplies with national products, have preferred to “speculate” on the international market.

How does the obligation to label wheat work?

At the end of the year, if the government does not intervene, things could get even more complicated. Starting from next December 31st, in fact, in Italy the decree that imposes the obligation to label the origin of wheat expires used for the production of pasta.

A measure strongly desired by Coldiretti, taken February 14, 2018, which provides that the packages of dry pasta produced in Italy must necessarily indicate the name of the country in which both the cultivation and milling of the wheat take place.

If the wheat comes from, or has been milled, these different terms can be used in several countries, depending on the case:

  • EU countries
  • Non-EU countries
  • EU and non-EU countries.

Furthermore, if durum wheat is cultivated for at least 50% in a single country, such as Italy, for example, the words “Italy and other EU and / or non-EU countries” can be used.

The labeling has led the purchases of pasta with 100% Italian wheat to grow at a rate of almost 2 and a half times higher than average of dry pasta, pushing the main agri-food industries to promote production lines with the use of cereal entirely produced in Italy.

How can you be sure you are really buying 100% made in Italy pasta? Until now it was enough choose the packages that bear the indications “Country of wheat cultivation: Italy” and “Country of milling: Italy”. But from January 1, 2022, things could change, and we may have to buy types of pasta that are not completely Italian.

How much pasta do Italians eat

The warning, launched on the occasion of the World Pasta Day which is celebrated every year on October 25 all over the world, warns of real risks, and unfortunately very close in time. A huge damage, for everyone. For the national economy in the first place, and for us consumers, especially considering the extraordinary boom that the sales of pasta recorded during the lockdown.

As the Italian Food Union reveals, 2020 recorded unprecedented peaks in production and consumption, and also 2021 confirms a very high trend towards this dish, expression of Italian excellence, higher than the pre-pandemic levels, and already at that time a record. In 10 years, the consumption of pasta has even doubled, especially spaghetti, from almost 9 to about 17 million tons per year (here you will find the 10 best brands of pasta in Italy according to Altroconsumo).

In the atlas of pasta, Italy remains the reference point for production (3.9 million tons), exports (2.4 million tons), consumption and exports. Each Italian consumes over 23 kg per year, placing Tunisia, 17 kg, Venezuela, 15 kg and Greece, 12.2 kg in this special ranking.

What the government must do

The problem, too, is that Italian wheat is now paid about 20% less than imported wheat, despite the greater guarantees of safety and quality, while our producers are also faced with the exponential increase in production costs linked to the increase in technical means useful for cultivation, from diesel to fertilizers. The result is that this year sowing costs have doubled.

To recover sovereignty and guarantee the availability of wheat and other agricultural products – underlines Coldiretti – it is necessary to work to obtain supply chain agreements between agricultural and industrial companies with precise qualitative and quantitative objectives and fair prices that never fall below production costs, as foreseen by new law to combat unfair practices.

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