Pasta prompts the Italian government to hold an urgent crisis meeting – Al-Ghad newspaper

Pasta prompts the Italian government to hold an urgent crisis meeting – Al-Ghad newspaper
Pasta prompts the Italian government to hold an urgent crisis meeting – Al-Ghad newspaper

A heated debate in Italy over the rise in pasta prices forced the government to hold a crisis meeting this week, as Adolfo Orso, Italy’s business minister, called for a meeting, Thursday, May 11, 2023, of a new committee to discuss the increase in the price of pasta, according to a ministry official. Companies and Made in Italy.

Local media reported, citing the ministry, that pasta prices rose 17.5% year-on-year in March, according to The Washington Post.

This price jump is more than double Italy’s consumer price inflation, which hit 8.1% in March, according to the European Central Bank, and coincides with a fall in the price of wheat. Today, Thursday, May 11, the committee will assess the role of raw material, energy and production costs in the price increase.

Recriminations regarding pasta prices
Consumer groups accused the producers of speculation, and filed a formal complaint asking the authorities to investigate the matter. While producers say a combination of factors – including rising energy costs, supply chain disruptions and inflation – is driving up their costs; Forcing them to charge more for pasta, a staple of the Italian diet.

While Minister Ursu said, in a statement, that consumers will benefit from the committee meeting regardless of the outcome; Because the increased interest in this problem has already led many companies to say that the pasta price hike is only temporary.

Noodles, at about $2 a box, are still relatively inexpensive. But any dispute in Italy over pasta, a potent part of national identity, attracts intense attention. By one estimate, more than 60% of Italians eat pasta daily.

While one user commented on social media, “There is something very funny about the Italian government holding a crisis meeting about pasta. This made me laugh. I know it shouldn’t, but there is something inherently funny about the Italian government defining the crisis as expensive pasta.

Price speculation in Italy
Italian pasta is made from durum wheat, whose prices have fallen by 30% since last year, according to Coldiretti, Italy’s largest agricultural authority.

The authority also stated, in a statement, that making pasta only requires adding water to wheat, and therefore the high price seems unjustified.

Assoutenti, a consumer rights group that published a survey of local pasta prices in April, blamed producers for the increase.

“There is no justification for non-purely speculative increases on the part of large food groups that also want to boost their balance sheets with additional profits,” Furio Trozzi, the group’s president, said in an email. He added: “Pasta is a staple in the Italian diet. Increasing its price is tantamount to raising the price of an ear of corn for Americans.”


The Assoutenti report found that pasta prices have increased, on average, by 25% over the past year, with some cities like Modena seeing a rise of nearly 50%. And in 12 of Italy’s 110 provinces, a kilogram of pasta can be bought for less than $2.20.

However, pasta producers report higher production costs. Energy, packaging and logistics items have seen a surge in prices, said Ivana Calo, spokeswoman for Unione Italiana Food, an industry body. Which increased costs. She pointed out that the increase in costs is in line with the increase in food prices.

“The impact of the pasta inflation on Italian families’ budgets will be limited,” she wrote in an email. Given that it only costs a few euros.

Impact of the war in Ukraine
In the same vein, other experts point out that the repercussions of the conflict in Ukraine last year, when the country’s commodity markets were severely affected, are still being felt.

“The pasta on the shelves today was produced months ago when durum wheat was bought at high prices and with energy costs at the height of the crisis,” explained Michele Crippa, an Italian professor of gastronomic sciences.

Although the price of a packet of pasta may be relatively low, the economic context in Italy means that families may still feel pinched by the surge of such a popular product. Rising prices remain a concern as the Italian economy contracted at the end of last year.

By treating the pasta price hike as a crisis, New York University food studies professor Fabio Parascoli argues that the Italian government may be trying to show that it is “concerned about citizens’ lifestyles, even if the effect is much smaller than that of increases in electricity bills.

This is not the first time companies have found themselves in a difficult position over the price of pasta. In 2009, Italian agencies raided major pasta makers over allegations of price fixing and fined them nearly $18 million. Agencies

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