ITALY, Rome. The poultry sector in Italy continues to grow also in 2020, recording an increase in production of + 2.5%, with increases for turkey (+ 4.4%) and for chicken (+ 2%).
But the sector raises the alarm on the international front both for the possible ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement, which will increase the share of imports of white meat from South America, and for the price rush of agricultural raw materials (corn, soft wheat, bran , soybean meal), which in 2021 risks creating a domino effect on production costs and therefore on prices. This was communicated by Unaitalia, one of the associations representing the sector. Against the ratification of the Mercosur agreement, Unaitalia joins the appeal launched at European level by Copa-Cogeca, Cibe and Avec. According to the associations, the trade agreement would increase imports of poultry meat from Mercosur countries to an annual quota equal to the production of Denmark, Finland and Sweden combined.
"The agreement would allow the entry into Europe of further large quantities of poultry meat from Brazil, with quality and safety standards well below what is guaranteed in Europe", explains Antonio Forlini, president of Unaitalia, "we then assist the worrying surge in the prices of raw materials with heavy repercussions on the cost of feed, for which we discount the dependence on foreign countries and which strongly affect the total cost of production". According to the data released by Assalzoo, in fact, in January 2021, basic materials for feed have undergone an average increase of 40% compared to the same period of the previous year. "Despite the resilience of the sector demonstrated during Covid, these are costs that we will hardly be able to continue to absorb and that will inevitably end up fall on consumers", adds the president.
"In wishing good work to the Minister of Agriculture Stefano Patuanelli and to the entire government team led by President Draghi, we feel the duty to ask for attention to the entire agricultural and livestock sector which must be supported both thanks to the Recovery Fund and in international dynamics, where too often it risks becoming a pure bargaining chip with third countries. We hope that Italy in Europe will be able to speak out strongly against the ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement and thus protect both consumers and the agri-food chain, made up of reality such as poultry that can boast a record of self-sufficiency at national level”, concludes Forlini.