Increase in ‘agromafia’ business in 2018

Significant increase in 'agromafia' business in the last year

ROME - Organised crime generated some 24.5 billion euros in business in the Italian agriculture sector in 2018, a rise of 12.4 per cent with respect to the previous year, according to the annual ‘agromafia’ report by Coldiretti, the institute for Political, Social and Economic Studies (Eurispes) and the Observatory on Crime in the Agro-Food Industry.

The report highlighted that the agromafia crosses the food supply chain, from production and transport, to distribution and sales. The activities of the criminal network resulted in higher prices for consumers, damage to the image of the Italian food sector and health risks, with 399 alerts raised last year.

Across the countryside, among other crimes, there has been a surge in the theft of tractors, mowers and other agricultural vehicles. Meanwhile, in cities traditional greengrocers and florists have almost disappeared.

President of Eurispes, Gian Maria Fara, therefore said that “the first need is to update and strengthen the current legislation on agri-food that is obsolete and counterproductive.”