Voices 25/05/2015

A bad crop year and women strength

After an oil campaign such as this one just past, the question whether the Italian agriculture is to throw away back with a strength I would say almost natural. The temptation to drop everything there. And it is strong. We women associated in Pandolea we have given the mission - which was then a natural choice for us, for our work, for our training - to come out from the olive groves and oil mills and spread as much as possible the culture of extra virgin quality from the world of school. Because as women - we said - our children are the priority. Thinking it should be for everyone, for the whole country: they are in fact citizens, consumers, politicians, men and women of the future that we let the witness. Still, some doubt, in this year, it came and also strong. Past the warmest time of despair, however, I wondered too, but it's all because of the climate, the warm and rainy, parasites and the lack of compensation if there is a temptation to throw it all up?

This second question, thinking about it a bit 'in depth, the answers are more complex. The year itself, in fact, not enough to explain a bitterness that is getting way. It is true that we are engaged in a European system, that markets are no longer closed, that competition - and interests - are increasingly intertwined and multifaceted. However, because this country, Italy, still does not point to the true and profound appreciation of one of the elements of their own tradition more rooted - such as extra virgin - and one of the pillars of the same Mediterranean diet? Of course, if we think that to "discover" the Mediterranean Diet took the Americans, then it is best left to lose ... Why will also be true that the highlights of economy of other nations - and heavy sectors of our industry - have the extra virgin Olive a thought and a consideration different from ours, but it is also true that there can be room for everyone, as long as everyone has the ability to fight and to compete on (almost) equal. So, I believe that in a year like this policy should address as a priority the issue of how to combine agriculture to save as much as possible the production of oil. Of course, to ensure that such an action can esplicarsi, you should not expect the black vintage! The whole system should work in a virtuous and support (not assistenzialisticamente, but constructively) agriculture back to recover an asset (not only the olive!) That has always been one of wealth, also cultural, of this country. So, just to give an example, if "extra virgin olive oil" means (for large numbers) only juice (made mechanically) of the olives without any defect and with a maximum acidity of 0.8% (as between a good 0.3% and 0.7% a little diffidabile we throw an ocean), then all that does not meet this definition can not be labeled and sold as virgin: who does it commits a crime, fraud or sophistication. And these things should be pursued, avoided, prevented. Because if it is already hard to pass the concept of virgin quality, it becomes impossible to do so if the market is total chaos.

The world of olive oil must put together the best forces: to manage services collectively, to have opportunity to meet export (and protections International) with more force. Manufacturers need to get together, farmers and millers must learn to pull together. This should teach politics. Of course, in isolation feel to throw everything out, you live only a sense of desperate helplessness. But it should not, can not be so. So I think, as a woman and as an entrepreneur. And this I think that many women like me involved in agriculture.

True, we do not have one in Italy Vandana Shiva, nor do I think that as an association Pandolea media can have the same force of great woman and leading Indian environmentalist.

But I believe that some land of cultural development can be covered if you can work harder and with more conviction on the topics of associations linked to the production, sustainability (including economic) of businesses and promotion (not only safeguard) environment and landscape. There is - even ideally - a positive consideration to returning to the countryside, to nature. We must ensure that this becomes a positive value inherent in doing politics. We did not so much need a Vandana Shiva, after all, but a good and serious politicians. Otherwise, of course, it makes no sense to engage in agriculture, if not as expensive hobby for the chosen few. Maybe if more women occupied policy and were felt, if they had the strength and the opportunity to enrich the collective action by the thickness of their specificity, agriculture could not be reduced to an aristocratic hobby.

di Loriana Abbruzzetti