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Italy’s competition watchdog criticised for controversial country of origin decision: ‘This is populism elevated above laws’

7th February 2020


Italy’s competition watchdog criticised for controversial country of origin decision: ‘This is populism elevated above laws’

The Italian Competition and Market Authority (AGCM) has issued a €1m fine to Lidl Italia as part of an investigation into five food manufacturers and retailers over concerns about the origin of durum wheat used in pasta marketed as Italian. However, industry watchers have suggested the decision reflects a populist agenda, not legal requirements.

To read the full article, please click HERE

 

Food Labelling Services Comments:

The Italian anti trust authority AGCM has levied a fine on Lidl Italy in a dispute to do with origin of wheat in Italiamo and Combino Brand pasta. The authority asserts that certain brand names mislead when not using Italian grown wheat semolina in the product. 

While the action is not a legally binding case in EU or UK law, it cannot be totally ignored in our decision making on country of origin labelling.

It is the opinion of Food Labelling Services that the action is unfounded, as we would argue that the origin of an ingredient is defined as the place of the most recent substantial change, not where that material was grown. In this case, the wheat has been milled in Italy and in our view, can be considered as Italian. HOwever, we will ensure that we keep a close eye on this case, and whether it will be challenged in EU courts.

 



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