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Italian farmers protest as alarm sounded on food piracy

Coldiretti says unfair competition causing businesses to close

04 December, 11:14
Italian farmers protest as alarm sounded on food piracy (ANSA) - Bolzano, December 4 - Thousands of Italian farmers protested close to the border with Austria on Wednesday as agriculture association Coldiretti said food piracy was causing businesses to close in droves here.

Coldiretti said that the unfair competition of foreign produce branded to look Italian had contributed to the demise of 136,351 farms and agricultural companies since the start of the global economic crisis in 2007.

The farmers, some with their tractors, braved intense cold to gather before dawn at the Italian side of the Brenner Pass.

The protest coincided with the start of Coldiretti's campaign to encourage people to buy genuine Italian food products during the festive season. It is entitled The Battle of Christmas, Choose Italy (La Battaglia di Natale: Scegli l'Italia).

The farmers stopped several trucks to ask what they were carrying and where they were headed and showed banners calling for better branding of food products, so consumer can clearly see where goods come from.