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Made in Italy dairy proposition sent to Brussels

Staff writer |
The 'Made in Italy' label for dairy products is part of a government decree that has already been signed, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said.

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The decree, the prime minister said "has already been signed, it is not a promise", adding that "it was sent to Brussels" on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting organized by farmers' association Coldiretti, Renzi said that agriculture was "at the center" of government action, "after years of being considered as second division", citing in particular "an ad hoc measure" that will be included in the "Stability law" to give more opportunities to small and medium-sized agricultural businesses.

According to data released on Tuesday by Coldiretti, Italy has become the world's top milk importer.

In particular, three out of four long-life milk cartons sold in Italy are foreign, while half of the mozzarella cheese produced in Italy is made with milk imported from abroad, Coldiretti said, presenting a study on Milk World Day, promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The farmers' association added that about 24 million liters of milk and dairy products cross into Italy every day.

An estimated 10% of Italian dairy products have been made with foreign milk, in particular industrial pre-worked (curd), "mostly coming from Eastern Europe", used to produce low-cost mozzarella and other cheeses, according to Coldiretti.

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