Unbeknown to consumers, in Italy about five in six bottles of sunflower seed oil sold contain a foreign product, with a boom in importations that in 2018 saw the arrival of half a billion kilos, a growth of 11% with respect to the preceding year.
These are the findings from analysis carried out by Coldiretti on the occasion of the signing of an agreement with Olitalia and Filiera Agricola italiana S.p.A., for the production of the first traceable 100% Italian sunflower oil.
The agreement provides for the supply of sunflower seeds – explains Coldiretti – with a high oleic content from Italian agriculturists which will be stored at the agricultural Consortia structures to then be transformed into oil. This is all thanks to multiyear cultivation contracts that – explains Coldiretti – will guarantee the agriculture agencies a fair remuneration with a price of 34 euros per quintal that still covers the production costs through the years in addition to a supply chain premium.
In this way, the aim is to reverse a trend that in the last ten years has seen the disappearance in Italy of more than 10 thousand hectares cultivated with sunflowers, due to the low prices linked to unfair competition from foreign product, with effects on employment, on the environment and on the landscape.
“The supply chain agreements are fundamental instruments to defend production, to guarantee sustainable use of the land, to enhance distinctiveness, to ensure fair distribution of value and to reinforce the identity of the Country system” confirmed the President of Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini, in addition highlighting the need to arrive as soon as possible at the publication of the application decrees to indicate the origin of the food on the label as required by the approved standard with the rules on simplification.
“We are proud to contribute concretely to the development of the supply chain of high oleic sunflower seed oil – explained Angelo Cremonini, President of Olitalia – for the creation of a 100% Italian chain. Olitalia has a long tradition in the Italian restaurant setting, we are the most present brand in the kitchens of chefs in Italy and for more than 30 years we have delivered passion for the Italian culture of living well to the table. Among our headline products is Frienn, the only natural sunflower oil without palm oil with high oleic content, specifically researched to enhance Italian frying not only in our Country, but also abroad. We have in fact a significant international presence and we distribute in 120 countries arriving in markets in all continents and becoming a point of reference for a great many consumers from different cultures”.