New figures from Italian farming organisation Coldiretti suggest the turnover of the 'agri-mafia' is now estimated at €24.5bn per year, affecting the entire food supply chain from farm to table. In an attempt to combat this organised criminal activity, the Italian Council of Ministers has approved new legislation that it says would help crack down on the country’s big problem with agriculture and food fraud. The bill introduced tougher criminal penalties for “agribusiness piracy” crimes, such as selling products as made in Italy when they are not, falsely claiming foods are organic or outright counterfeiting. The new penalties apply to those who “produce, transform, package, distribute, sell or profit from” fraudulent agricultural products such as extra virgin olive oil.
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