Wojciechowski praised the Italian agricultural model
European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, during his introductory remarks to a panel discussion on the State of the Union's introductory day in Florence, praised the Italian agricultural model.
Although severely wounded by the ongoing crisis, the Italian agricultural system has all the credentials not only to get back on track, but to become a model for the rest of Europe. In this regard, the Commissioner cited some numbers: Italy has 8 percent of the EU's total agricultural area, but covers 18 percent of total agricultural production. Not only that: in 2019, just before the pandemic, the value of Italian agricultural production was "almost 33 billion euros," compared to France's 31 billion, even though the latter could count on 28 million hectares of agricultural land, more than double Italy's 12.5 million hectares.
Wojciechowski praised Italian success by finding its roots in a well-organized system divided into small farms and cooperatives with a "good synergy between farmers, the processing industry and the market." According to the commissioner, "it is important for the EU to maintain its leadership in food exports in the world," but the strategy is to "narrow the gap" by encouraging local economies and the farm-to-fork model. In this regard, "there is a good and well-functioning system in Italy that should be promoted in the rest of Europe," Wojciechowski said, pointing to the goals of "reducing costs" for the benefit of "quality."