HomeIdeaSANA 2023, tensions in Italian organic farming on Federbio led by Coldiretti. #CleanSpades

SANA 2023, tensions in Italian organic farming on Federbio led by Coldiretti. #CleanSpades

The SANA fair in Bologna – the most important Italian event dedicated and targeted to the organic sector – will be remembered, in 2023, for the separation between its historic protagonists and a Federbio 'bewitched' by Coldiretti. (1)

1) Federbio, 5 years of dripping

The last 5 years have registered the exit from Federbio by the control bodies which overall certify more than 73% of organic companies in Italy (over 60.000, out of a total of 82.000):

  • AB Cert,
  • bioagricert,
  • Bios,
  • CCPB,
  • Ecogroup,
  • Sidel,
  • Soil and Health,
  • Valoritalia.

The protagonists of the bio in Italy they no longer recognize themselves in the federation. The unstoppable dripping, drop by drop, has also distanced from Federbio:

– Ibma AssoMetab, the association of companies that produce tools for biological defense and products for sustainable agriculture,

– AtBio, national association of technical inspectors and consultants,

– Agriplan, an advanced business consultancy organization that deals with studies and services,

– Bioquality, network of experts and consultants in the organic sector.

2) August 2023, the association crisis

Federbio's association crisis it was confirmed in August 2023, after five years of dripping, with the most thunderous releases:

– UPBio. The national union of organic and biodynamic producers, which Federbio praised a dozen years ago as 'far' the organization 'most representative of the sector', with'over 20.000 organic farms, about half of all Italian organic producers' then,

– Anaprobius, the organization of organic producers who adhere to Copagri (over 6.000 organic farms), which in turn is the fourth national agricultural organization after Confagricoltura, CIA-Italian Farmers Confederation and National Confederation of Direct Growers (Coldiretti).

3) The reasons for the dissent

The critical mass of farmers organic farming, represented by UPBio and Anaprobio, expressed clear opposition to the flattening of Federbio on Coldiretti, promoted tooth and nail by the general secretary (and former president, for many years) Paolo Carnemolla and by the president Mariagrazia Mammuccini (who in turn he is warming the seat of Maria Letizia Gardoni, young president of Coldiretti Marche and announced new president of FederBio).

UPBio and Anaprobium they had also unsuccessfully voted against the sale of FederBioservizi - without even changing the company name - to CAI SpA (or Federconsorzi 2, the joint-stock company that has devoured several Agricultural Consortiums, with the minority but controlling shareholding of Bonifiche Ferraresi SpA). A company whose name refers to FederBio thus runs the risk of being managed by stakeholders other than those of the organic operators.

4) FederBio Servizi, what fate?

Agricultural consortia, now partly absorbed into CAI SpA, have always been the major retailers of GMO feed and pesticides. Even when Coldiretti declared itself an enemy of GMOs, which it now vigorously supports in the TEA version (assisted evolution technologies, or NGTs, New Genomic Techniques, or 'new GMOs').

Coldiretti however, he never changed his mind about pesticides. deeming 'ideological and without scientific basis' the European strategies for their reduction, of which organic agriculture is a fundamental player. And the consultancy for the organic sector could be managed by the big of pesticide distribution.

5) What 'bio revolution'?

Vincent Gesmundo, the boss of the bosses of Coldiretti, has reserved a front row seat at the inaugural conference, 'Rivoluzione BIO'. After the intervention of Ettore Prandini, (2) president of the yellow flags, at the morning round table.

CIA – the Italian Farmers Confederation, which despite boasting a president and a vice president engaged in organic production – vice versa does not appear in the official conferences and round tables.

The bad mood for these and other forcings it is evident, even among the organizations still members. And the imperialist ambition of Federbio Coldiretta - to organize an inter-profession in the organic sector in Italy - could encounter obstacles due to a lack of representation.

Dario Dongo


(1) Dario Dongo. Coldiretti to conquer the organic sector. #Clean spades. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

(2) Dario Dongo. Coldiretti, the Agromafie Observatory and the Porsche of the Customs Agency. The document. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

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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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