It could be called “Food Mafia”, borrowing the famous expression used for the criminal happenings in Rome: Capital Mafia. In fact, the criminal business connected to the food industry is estimated to amount to 15,4 billions. This money is, then, invested in Italy and abroad in clear, but also dirty, operations in this industry, such as big supply chains, restaurants, agritourisms and also illegal import-export activities. Other illegal activities are, i.e., the miappropriation of products of certified origin, undercover slaughter, animal exploitation and doping in horse racing, recycling: these are the favourite sectors for laundering money in this field. These activities are runned without any respect for consumers and environment. In order to have a clearer idea of the phenomenon, the president of Coldiretti Roberto Moncalvo showed new data during the international meeting “Fighting food crime – enforcing food safety” at the Auditorium of the Italian Pavilion Expo Milan 2015.
“Not only the organised crime seized the food industry and its revenues, mining competition and the legal free market, but also - says Moncalvo - it threats the quality and the safety of products and seriously damages the image of italian products and the made in Italy label, according to the foodmafia report by Coldiretti/Eurispes”.
As we know, Italy run very severe controls in the field of food safety and hygiene, which makes this country one of the most rigorous country in the world. In order to keep and improve this attitude, Coldiretti promoted a Monitor on Food Criminality and on the food system, leaded by the magistrate Giancarlo Caselli, who is also the head of the Scientific Commitee of the Foundation “born to spread knowledge and awareness on the italian food heritage, with as goal to create a coordinated and widespread control system, aimed to reveal illegal behaviours”.
The Mafias like Cosa Nostra, Camorra and Ndrangheta manage their illegal activities everywhere, in Spain, especially in the restaurants field, in UK where the Camorra invested in pubs and restaurants. Then in Germany, where the Ndrangheta controls illegal activities in cities like Gerdern, Oberhausen and Duisburg. Even in the Est Europe, for example in Albania, which is, for geographical reasons a breeding ground for the Sacra Corona Unita. This last has a important business in the restaurants sector; in Romania, the Camorra manages illegal activities linked to agricolture and fishing, especially in the Black Sea.
“Food crime needs to be fought with transparency, especially in a sector such as the food farmin. In a difficult moment for economy we must bring into the market this net value and effect national laws and european law which oblige producers to make clear the origin of the products. However, transparency is also necessary as long as commercial flows are concerned, e.i. making clear the name of companies that import first material from abroad”, says Moncalvo.
[Photo, Roberto Moncalvo, President of Coldiretti (taken from www.economiaweb.it)]