ITALY: ALL MAD ABOUT ORGANIC FOOD

The organic food market in Italy has been rapidly growing for many years and could reach a considerable turnover. The business year 2016 closed with an incredible +21 percent. Thirty percent of the Italian household food expenditure is organic. In fact, 4.5 million families habitually consume organic farm products. If we also consider occasional and sporadic consumers, the families that have organic products in their kitchen become as many as 20 million. And also the market adapted to this trend: over one hundred thousand hectares of countryside (almost 18.7 percent of the total agricultural area) changed to organic cultivation in just one year. But the increase also involved cattle for 20%, poultry for 18% and goats for 9%, with a trend supported by the high demand for organic meat and cheese. Italy ranks first in Europe among the organic food producing countries with 60,000 companies. But what is the reason for this strong growth in the organic sector?
Probably the fact that Organic Agriculture is based on four fundamental principles:
– the principle of wellness: Organic Agriculture must support and promote the wellness of human beings and of the planet;
– the principle of ecology: Organic Agriculture must be based on precise systems and cycles;
– the principle of equity: respect for the environment and opportunities for life;
– the principle of precaution: to responsibly safeguard the health and wellness of present and future generations.

In addition, in case of severe drought conditions, which are likely to increase with climate change, organic food producers have the potential to produce more thanks to the higher capacity of the soil to retain water. All this means a lower consumption of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Italian organic agriculture has kept high sales in the international context, thus becoming the largest exporter of organic products worldwide.
This success can be explained by the fact that organic products meet additional consumer needs, such as intolerances and allergies, dietary requirements and even the choice of a vegan life-style that seems to be the latest Italian food trend. The number of restaurants offering organic food has also been increasing: there are over 500 today, especially in Central Italy and in the big cities.
Moreover, Italy is the world’s leading producer of organic vegetables, grains, citrus fruits and olives, as well as wine, oil and cheese that over the years have been given the privilege of being among the most deserving products of numerous awards worldwide.

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