HomeIdea#FarmersUnited, the manifesto 2 March 2024

#FarmersUnited, the manifesto 2 March 2024

Farmers, breeders and fishermen in Italy have started and are participating in the protest for the dignity of income - thus for a fair price, with a strict ban on sales #belowcost - and freedom of association, to free themselves from the slavery of the CAA (assistance centers agricultural).

The ecological transition must be supported with direct aid to farmers, who are the first ones interested in reducing their dependence on the multinationals of GMO pesticides and seeds. Public funds earmarked for arms for Ukraine must be returned to our society.

The #FarmersUnited manifesto, together with Italian citizens, to follow in preview.

1) FAIR PRICE, BAN ON SALES BELOW COST

The income crisis of Italian farmers must be resolved immediately with a decree law reforming legislative decree 198/21 on unfair commercial practices in the agri-food chain. This reform must provide for:

a) application erga omnes. The prohibitions of unfair trade practices and sales below cost must apply to all supplies of agricultural products and foodstuffs, including supplies to cooperatives, POs (producer organisations) and AOPs (associations of producer organisations), (1)

b) cost of production. Actual average production costs of agricultural and food commodities must be compiled and updated at least monthly, by ISMEA, at a regional level and also at a provincial level, where necessary. Specifically with regard to family and peasant farms, which still account for 94,8% of the total (Eurostat, 2020) and their informal costs because they are not accounted for (e.g. continuous commitment, 6-7 days a week, of the farmer and his family helpers), (2)

c) reference price. Transparency in price formation must be ensured by telematic commodity exchanges that must take into account production costs that are always unaccountable and product specifications (quality, quantity, composition, origin) and supply chain specifications (certifications and quality regimes. e.g. PDO, PGI, organic). As well as, of course, price trends, which the European Commission (DG Agri) must in turn consider and update punctually (3,4,5)

d) electronic invoicing. All contracts and sales invoices, even in the stages following the first transaction between farmers and their customers, must include the exact description of the products (quality, quantity, composition, origin, certification and quality schemes) and prices per unit of measurement, with evidence of production cost and reference price (6)

e) consumer information. Consumers must be able to know the prices paid to farmers and processing companies/industries. These prices must be displayed on the sales premises of loose foodstuffs (e.g. fruit and vegetables), on the labels of pre-packed products (e.g. cheese) and on the labels of pre-packed foodstuffs of first industrial processing (e.g. oils, vegetable preserves, pasta and bakery products, milk and dairy products, meat, meat preparations and products), (7)

f) public controls. Supervision and sanctions on unfair commercial practices and sales below cost are to be entrusted to the Guardia di Finanza, with autonomous powers of initiative and systematic controls on electronic invoices, as well as to the Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza e il Mercato (Antitrust Authority). ICQRF, as has been denounced at the time and the facts show, is in fact completely lacking the necessary resources (8,9)

g) sanctions. The sanctions must be dissuasive and proportionate to the purchasers' turnover, with regard to the national group turnover in the case of large-scale organised distribution.

2) FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION, CONTRACTUAL AUTONOMY

The freedom of association and contractual autonomy of farmers, breeders and fishermen must be guaranteed immediately, in accordance with constitutional law and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Ministry of Agriculture must therefore:

h) no reform of the CAA. The ministerial decree approved in the State-Regions Conference on 8 February 2024 for the reform of the agricultural assistance centres, tailor-made for Coldiretti, must be annulled immediately in self-defence. Italian farmers are not prepared to accept either the dictatorship of Coldiretti or the unjustified increase in costs for access to the EU subsidies to which they are entitled (10,11)

i) free competition. The Ministry of Agriculture must annul AGEA Circular No. 9 of 2022 August 41, which excluded more than 2.500 freelancers from access to the SIAN (Sistema Informativo Agricolo Nazionale - National Agricultural Information System) registers for the management of farm files relating to EU contributions in agriculture (12)

f) liberalization of services. All public services that are currently delegated to agricultural confederations, agencies and companies attached to them must be liberalised. Farmers, livestock breeders, and fishermen must be able to decide to which bodies and freelancers they want to entrust the management of these services, including, for example, land lease contracts. The provision of services by agricultural confederations must be independent of farmers' membership in these associations.

3) ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION, NO NEW GMOs

Italians Farmers and breeders are the first to want to reduce the use of agrochemicals (herbicides, pesticides, fungicides), nitrogenous fertilisers and veterinary drugs (e.g. antibiotics, antimicrobials). Both because the costs of chemicals in agriculture are unsustainable and reduce soil fertility, because some toxic chemicals expose farmers themselves to health risks, and because consumers increasingly demand food without pesticide and antibiotic residues.

The ecological transition must, however, be supported by the public sector, with direct aid to farmers so that they can diversify production and its risks (from monocultures to polycultures) and meet market demand, but also effectively address threats to agricultural and livestock production. Adequate public investment should therefore also be directed towards field research into effective biological control tools.

The new GMOs must be subject to the same risk assessment criteria established for first-generation GMOs, since their deliberate release into the environment can cause damage to the biodiversity that characterises 'Made in Italy' agrifood production. In addition to aggravating farmers' dependence on the four giants that control over XNUMX% of the global seed market (and the herbicides they are designed to resist). (XNUMX)Made in Italy:'. As well as worsening farmers' dependence on the four giants that control over 70% of the global seed market (and the herbicides they are designed to resist). (13)

4) PEACE, FOOD AND HEALTH

A ten-year 'security' agreement 'on security' between Italy and Ukraine was announced yesterday in Kiev by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who 'did not answer questions from journalists asking to quantify Italy's financial commitment, but repeated that the government in Rome has already launched eight aid packages and will continue to do everything possible to help Kiev'. (14) In addition to the more than €130 billion in military 'aid' already disbursed by the European Union over the past two years, and the further €50 billion decided in Brussels on 1 February 2024.

The Italian population is not willing to make further sacrifices, let alone participate in the third world war 'in pieces', as described by Pope Francis. (15) Our schools and universities, hospitals and healthcare, public services and social welfare, and pensions are being mortgaged by Giorgia Meloni in order to fatten the arms industry, which will exacerbate everyone's poverty. Minister Antonio Tajani should account for all this in Parliament, and the parties that sit there today should state openly whether they want to buy more weapons or work for peace.

5) EVENT IN ROME, SATURDAY 2 MARCH 2024

Citizens and/or consumers , together with #AgricoltoriUniti, are all invited to the peaceful demonstration organised in Rome in Piazza dei Santi Apostoli on Saturday 2 March at 12 noon. We demonstrate for good and fair food, respectful of the earth and animals, for the dignity and health of all. (16) Stop the speculation of the oligarchies in Italy and Europe, stop weapons and destruction.

#CleanSpades, #Égalité

Dario Dongo

Footnotes

(1) Legislative Decree 198/21 – in unlawful derogation from Directive (EU) No 2019/633 (Unfair Trading Practices, UTPs) – excludes from the notion of 'transfer contracts' the contributions of members to cooperatives and the transfers of agricultural and food products to producer organizations (Legislative Decree 198/21 art. 2.e). The consequences of this exclusion were analyzed in the Piedmontese milk supply chain in the previous article by Dario Dongo. Unfair commercial practices, Italy tries to exclude cooperatives and producer organizations. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 17.10.21

(2) ISMEA should introduce tools for real-time detection of production costs in all the provinces of Italy and on all agricultural supply chains, based on the structure of business costs according to accounting principles (to which add an evaluation of non-recurring costs accounted for, for SMEs), using the blockchain. A technology already available and in fact recommended by the FAO, already in 2018, precisely to guarantee a fair redistribution of the value chain to suppliers of agricultural and food commodities. See the previous article by Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. Blockchain, the opportunities for the agri-food and organic supply chains. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 1.11.20

(3) Dario Dongo. An electronic commodity exchange to promote transparency and fairness in the food supply chain. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 8.3.21

(4) Dario Dongo. Durum wheat, reports of 'scams' ignored by Coldiretti and Filiera Italia. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 22.2.24

(5) Dario Dongo, Marina De Nobili. Transparency in the value chain, work in progress. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 23.3.19

(6) Dario Dongo. What unit of measurement for the price of bulk and pre-wrapped foods? FARE (Food and Agriculture Requirements). 8.9.22

(7) Only the labels of pre-packaged foods must report the average purchase price of the significant ingredient (>50%), in the reference period, through electronic labeling (QR-code). The prices of food products displayed in sales premises must also include the prices per sales unit paid to producers, in reform of the Consumer Code

(8) Dario Dongo. Unfair commercial practices, the woes of Legislative Decree 198/2021. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 4.12.21

(9) The report of the Ministry of Agriculture on the checks carried out by ICQRF in 2022, regarding unfair trading practices, indicates that 'during 2022, the ICQRF has instructed n. 3 complaints submitted by interested parties, conducted n. 50 initiative investigations, for a total of n. 53 investigations, and n. 48 investigations concluded in the same year, for a total number of n. 139 controls (55 inspections and 84 internal documentary controls), through which no. 76 operators, at the conclusion of these activities no. 15 administrative complaints'. A total ineffectiveness, just as Coldiretti wanted.

(10) Dario Dongo. Italy, green light for the CAA monopoly on EU aid in agriculture. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 12.2.24

(11) Dario Dongo. CAA reform, new costs and bureaucracy for farmers. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 12.2.24

(12) Dario Dongo. AGEA and MASAF 'Coldiretti'. The suppression of freelancers in agriculture. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 30.9.23

(13) A further risk for farmers is being forced to pay royalties in cases of accidental contamination of their crops with new GMOs. See paragraph 5 of the article by Dario Dongo, Alessandra Mei. New GMOs, NGTs. Green light from Strasbourg to deregulation. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 9.2.24

(14) Massimo Maugeri. The G7 in Kiev. Meloni: “Ukraine is our home and we will defend it”. AGI. 25.2.24 http://tinyurl.com/rf844s7a

(15) Ty Roush. Russia Warns NATO Troops In Ukraine Will Cause 'Inevitable' Conflict—After France Doesn't Rule It Out. Forbes. 27.2.24

(16) Dario Dongo. Rome, 2 March 2024. Farmers and citizens united in protest. Égalité. 26.2.24

(17) Farmers return to blockade the European neighborhood in Brussels. After the double siege carried out at the beginning and end of February to contest EU policies, around a hundred tractors are gathering this morning near the headquarters of the main EU institutions. Some fires were set on Place du Luxembourg, in front of the European Parliament buildings, which had already been stormed on 1 February. Firecrackers are being thrown near the headquarters of the European Commission and the EU Council, where the European Agriculture Ministers are meeting. Some fires were set by burning tires and bales of hay even in front of the department responsible for disbursing the funds of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). There are currently around a hundred tractors gathered in Rue de la Loi, the main artery that crosses the EU district. FUGEA and ECVC farmers return to Brussels.

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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