About 250 Italian pig producers have protested against the current misery in Italian pig production before the show of Rassegna Suinicola in Reggio Nell'Emilia could be officially opened last Thursday. Pig Progress editor, Vincent ter Beek reports from the venue.
Raising flags, carrying banners and giving speeches through a megaphone, the producers wanted to emphasise that urgent action needs to be taken. Several agricultural organisations were behind the protest, like Confagricultura, CIA, Copagri, Unapros and Assosuini, the last one uniting specifically pig producers.
Producers have been suffering from losses for four years in a role now, while consumer prices for Italian produced meat like Parma ham remain high. They wonder where the money goes, but feel they cannot fight retailers.
Caught in the middle
The main claim of the protesters is that they feel they are caught in the middle. On one side, they feel, the Italian authorities do not pay enough attention and, on the other side, in their vision, industries and commercial platforms are putting unsustainable pressure on them. They feel “the branch is therefore risking to be drastically trimmed down, despite the overproduction and despite being the main ambassador of the 'Made in Italy' brand in the world.”
The organisations are claiming that, “until today, most of the initiatives agreed during a branch meeting last summer have not been put into practice.” Therefore, they underline the immediate need to activate a strategic plan through positive actions in order to support a branch that has been suffering a deep economical crisis for a long time.
A new approach
Hence, addressing both the retail sector and the Italian minister of Agriculture Luca Zaia, they were soliciting a new approach which can give positive answers to the producers' needs and expectations. They demanded an approach:
* Realising support initiatives for the companies' incomes, included the debt's reorganisation;
* Revising, simplifying and standardising the application of the environmental laws, starting from the nitrates one;
* Increasing the value of Italian pig meet production, starting from the traceability and the application of specific decrees for processed meet;
* Implementing correct price gatherings, starting from the National Committee;
* Having a remarkable engagement in developing the pig breeding branch, and in general the production chain, activating dedicated resources within PSN, PSR and the production chain contracts;
* Promoting exports of animals, meat and processed meat with Denominazione di Origine Protecta (DOP) and Gran Suino Padano (GSP) brands.