• Gianluca Reale

Agri-Food, tight checks: 46 reports on traceability and labeling

Two weeks of tight checks with the use of fifteen agents. Seventy inspected companies, including points of sale of large-scale retail, wholesale markets and retail points of sale of fruit and vegetables.

Forty-six high administrative reports for violations of the legislation on traceability and labeling of agri-food products. Two seizures of merchandise, one of which was harvested blonde oranges that were sold inside cartons of the Sicilian Red Orange PGI protection consortium. Over fifty thousand euros of penalties imposed and a mass of documentation acquired from the investigations which could trigger new fines for the same amount.

These are the numbers of the control operation on the prices of agri-food products ordered by the President of the Sicilian Region, Nello Musumeci and conducted in the nine provinces of the island by the operational nucleus of the Regional Forestry Corps and by the Central inspectorate for the Quality and repression of agri-food fraud which belongs to the Ministry of Agricultural Policies.

«An important synergy - Governor Musumeci underlines - to make the presence of institutions feel strongly among the people who are facing, with understandable difficulties, this period of emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are convinced that, especially at this moment, the consumer must be protected to avoid the danger of fraud and to safeguard his health. We demand healthy products, which arrived on store shelves after carrying out all the quality checks and which, at the same time, are sold at a fair price. Although in this respect, the upward fluctuations found do not always become punishable because the relationship between supply and demand that is formed on the free market is in force. The attention, however, remains high: the citizens ask us, who have given sincere appreciation to our agents who worked on the shelves of supermarkets. The controls will be constant and widespread over the entire Sicilian territory». Precisely to increase the effectiveness of inspections in this sector, a Memorandum of Understanding could be signed soon between the Operational Unit for Agri-Food Safety of the Forestry Corps of the Sicilian Region and the Central Inspectorate for the quality and repression of agri-food fraud .