Catania: Young farmers are crucial for the future

Rome May 17th – During a national assembly of young farmers of Coldiretti (an Italian agricultural organisation), Italian Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry policies, Mario Catania, declared that young farmers are important not only for the sector, but also the future of Italy. In the face of the current crisis period, which is presenting a series of problems for young farmers, he demanded that they receive real answers.

The minister recalled the Italian commitment in European negotiations on the CAP adding that although measures for young people can already be found in the EU Commission’s legislative proposals (in the second pillar), they are still insufficient and must be strengthened.He added that.

In addition, the minister remarked that all the work that in recent months has been done at a national level to face some central issues for the agricultural sector. This activity has resulted in Article 62 of Law 27/2012 – Regulation of Trade Relationships regarding the Sale of Agricultural and Food Products – which will come into force next autumn. The article was defined by the minister as “an intervention of enormous importance and novelty since it restores a proper balance in the supply chain to protect those subjects who are most vulnerable, particularly our farmers who receive a share of value added which is too low.”

The minister concluded by saying that “If we want the income of farmers to be really guaranteed, it is crucial that the supply chain renews and presents itself to the market in an integrated manner. This is a key challenge, the most important one for the entire sector, because the current configuration is unfortunately tied to old models, which are dated from the 1950s. Farms must learn to enter the market. We can no longer allow farmers to continue to loose value added due to an outdated and poorly functioning structure, characterised by too many intermediaries. Your fathers and your grandfathers were very good at producing, but not at selling. If you manage to complete a production- sale cycle, we will win on all fronts. Within farms, the passage from one generation to another one is a crucial moment for the life of farms. During this passage work is redefined, process and product innovations are introduced, and the strategy, which the farm will adopt to compete on the market, are reshaped…

…that’s why you are the present and the future of Italian agriculture.”