Practical solutions for the food paradoxes.

Milan Protocol



With one million and a half members, Coldiretti is the major organisation representing agricultural entrepreneurs at national and European level.
Coldiretti has long worked in the spirit of practical planning; going beyond the interests of the holdings it represents and transforming it from a representative into a supporting social force for the country.
All this is founded on the fundamental value of focusing on food as a common good, and is today based on the "All Italian Agricultural Chain" Project: agricultural, because the farmers are the protagonists from farm to fork; Italian, because it is made up solely of Italian products and as distinctive value of "Made in Italy"; and signed by farmers, in line with the idea of informed, transparent and aware consumption.


The excessive gap that lies between those going hungry and those suffering the effects of poor nutrition clearly shows the limits of an intensive and globalized development model, which has declassified food to the rank of an anonymous, undifferentiated good to be traded.
With the aim of resolving food security issues, flows of products destined only to circulate according to the criteria of what is most convenient have been endorsed. However, any distinctive factor or element of quality (often including safety) has been "cleaned" away from these products. Moreover, the use of new technologies has been overestimated, condemning to poverty farmers and local communities alike in the poorest countries.
On the other hand, questions and issues arise in relation to how aware consumers really are of what they are buying and the real origin of agri-food products.
Information, education and awareness are a focal point for the fight against waste, by which we mean not only the idea of unharvested agricultural products or products purchased and not consumed, but also the waste deriving from a system of unfair competition.


Valuing food as a common good is the only way to guarantee that agricultural production can develop in a sustainable manner and to combine the principles of sovereignty and food security with those of fairness and equal access for all.
It is by using this value as a basis that Coldiretti's project reconciles the interests of our members with the needs and emerging demands of citizens and society. Covering major urban centres and small villages alike, our direct sales markets network, Campagna Amica (the largest in Europe with 10,000 members including markets, farms and shops) is a clear expression of the new economy, capable of bringing the focus back to agricultural holdings and generating employment but also improving quality of life and social relations.
In order to start again, we capitalized on another successful opportunity: the short supply chain, which wins back immediate relationships and consumer confidence (15 million Italians in 2013) after major food scandals shook both markets and people's trust. Short supply chain also: offers quality and added value for the areas in which it operates; transfers healthy lifestyles and responsible and aware consumption models; produces less waste, by guaranteeing freshness and long shelf lives for the products supplied; and represents a springboard for exporting real ‘Made in Italy'agri-food products and satisfying the world's desire for authenticity.


The Coldiretti Project focuses on the territory as an inexhaustible source of wealth and for its variety of geographical expressions. This represents an all-Italian, virtuous path to development, as it is distinctive, sustainable and replicable, enriching rather than weakening the resources that feed it.
Italy and its future are linked to its capacity to "go back to being Italy", taking the path towards a new development model which feeds from the strong points that characterise its rich material and immaterial assets. Namely, the beauty of its historical and artistic heritage, the landscape, biodiversity, the rich territorial articulation, originality and creativity, taste and passion, common sense and the spirit of taking the initiative. To these, we can also add the reputation factor: the social capital that has made "Italian lifestyle" famous throughout the world.
The agricultural model promoted by Coldiretti has based its success on these resources. It has been able to innovate while remaining anchored to the old non-homologated paradigm of the country, and it has prospered while linking itself to territorial assets and absorbing (as well as preserving) added value. Through this development model, young people are seeing prospects for the future and working with passion and foresight on entrepreneurial initiatives in the areas of innovation, production diversity and the green economy.


In this context, the availability of food responds not only to nutritional needs, but also to people's health and quality of life, as well as animal welfare, territorial protection and the health of the environment. It is no coincidence that urban vegetable gardens are increasingly appearing in our cities, where the inhabitants of an area get together to discover their agricultural passions.
In this economy focused on territories and diversity and within our agriculture based on proximity, the natural preconditions for sustainable development are re-emerging. This is the key to being able to integrate into the sea of globalization without getting lost and the antidote to liberalist choices, which only reward private profit and collective loss. It is the values and the fundamental identity elements which define the Community.
Expo 2015 will be an opportunity to show the world the extraordinary variety of our agri-food products, as well as an idea of sustainable development and the values which come hand in hand with such development.
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