Italian pig farmers set for strike action
The Italian Farmers Association (CIA) has warned that
Italy may soon be in the grip of a nation-wide prosciutto shortage after Italian
pig farmers confirmed they will be going on strike this
Italian pig farmers have been lobbying the government
for financial assistance since the beginning of the month. The farmers, faced
with spiralling production costs and falling pork prices, announced a national
strike beginning on June 1 after talks with the agriculture ministry proved
''The pig farmers are stretched to the limit
and their earnings have halved in a short time,'' CIA explained. ''Parma ham,
San Daniele and Tuscan prosciutto, Piacenza pork neck salami, Brianza, Varzi and
Vicenza salami and Italian game salami could shortly disappear from supermarkets
and specialist shops and vanish from Italian tables.''
According to the
farmers' association, the average price for pork fell 8% over the course of
2007. In addition to seeing pork chops disappear from Italian tables, the pig
farmers' strike has wide-spread implications for the producers of Italy's
internationally renowned cold cuts.
Crucial to these products' success is
their EU Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) status, which, among other
things, requires the meat used to be of certified quality and origin. But pig
farmers said they will be refusing to ratify DOP
Strike spokesman Gusmaroli underlined that the
current crisis has provoked ''the greatest unrest in the history of the
sector'', and said pig farmers were thinking of organising a national protest in
Rome in the coming weeks.
Over 100,000 Italian businesses are involved in
pork production, with ham consumption worth around 1.2 billion euros a year and
salami around 3.6 billion.
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