Italian government convenes the first alert commission, to monitor rising pasta prices

ROME – The Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, has instructed, the guarantor for price surveillance, Benedetto Mineo to convene a ‘rapid alert Commission’ for the first time ever to analyze the alarming rise in the cost of pasta.

 Recently, the classic Italian dish has come to cost, on average, 2.13 euros per kilo, as Assoutenti denounced, reporting a 17.5% increase in price compared to March last year. This was recorded in a study characterized by the reduction in the price of the raw material and by other variable dynamics including the costs of energy and other production factors.

 The meeting will be held on May tenth by the commission, introduced with the transparency decree, and converted into law on the 10 March. The commission consists of representatives of the administrations involved, the competent authorities, and the associations of the consumer category, among other experts and politicians.

  The Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, had also commented on the issue previous to the creation of the commission. During question time in the Senate, Lollobrigada explained that his department monitors wheat prices weekly against speculation which "is the first thing to counter, our intention is to reactivate the national experimental commission for durum wheat as soon as possible, not excluding proceeding with the establishment of a single national commission, to strengthen the dialogue between the players in the supply chain and for the formation of a shared price at the national level".

 Assoutenti, the National Association of Public Services Users who first sounded the alarm about the concerning hike in pasta prices, expressed satisfaction with the convening of the Commission, calling it "a victory".  President Furio Truzzi, member of the rapid alert Commission and promoter of the complaint on the price of pasta explained that "In April we reported to Mimit and Mineo some anomalies in the trend of retail prices of pasta in Italy", claiming that, according to their dossier, the product has seen price increases which "do not seem aligned with the prices of wheat". Further stating that  “For example, in Ancona, a city that boasts the highest price in Italy, a kilo of pasta cost on average 2.44 euros in March, and only in 12 provinces are the price lists for spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, etc lower than 2 euros per kilo. Pasta, on the other hand, is one of the foods most consumed by Italians and this, he continues, "has an impact on consumers' wallets", however, compared to last year, when the start of the war in Ukraine had caused a tsunami on the markets " the situation now appears different, with prices which, according to Coldiretti, dropping by 30% compared to the same period of 2022”.