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Middle East. Filiera Italia: "Italian agri-food can guarantee safety"

The CEO Scordamaglia spoke at the round table "Mediterranean Dialogues"

“If we really want to “Rethink security in the Middle East” we can only start from a joint and strategic action on food security with Italy as a real protagonist, transforming this area from a point of weakness into an element of strength”. This was said by Luigi Scordamaglia , CEO of Filiera Italia, speaking yesterday at the round table “Rethinking security in the Middle East” as part of Med-Mediterranean Dialogues. This is the most important conference on the Mediterranean, promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies. The event is hosted every year in Rome, with the aim of rethinking the general approach to the entire area and developing a common vision capable of responding to the challenges.

“Already before the recent crises, food insecurity has always been one of the main causes of instability in the Middle Eastern region - with the war in Ukraine first and with the Israel-Palestinian conflict after - and as food insecurity increases we witness increase in geopolitical tension in the area” added the CEO. “A situation that appears even clearer if we think about the effects of this crisis on the Suez Canal", Scordamaglia continued, "a collapse of over 40% in the passage of ships, with an effect not only on our country, but on global inflation on foodstuffs which risks becoming dramatic".

“And every time food supply chains slow down or risk being interrupted, those forms of neo-protectionism that are harmful to the market and to the balance of the most fragile countries increase,” added the CEO. In 2023, these policies caused a 5% decline in international trade.

“Transforming a point of weakness into a point of strength, therefore, is what we are doing today as the Italian agri-food chain, with Filiera Italia and Coldiretti: therefore not only agricultural production, but also food technologies, intelligent agricultural machinery, precision farming, smart irrigation renewable energy", said Scordamaglia , "in a perfect public/private partnership, with the ministries of foreign affairs, agriculture and Italian cooperation - continued the CEO - we have already put our expertise and our technology available to countries such as Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, not with welfare purposes, but with true partnerships and joint ventures exchanging skills and resources. With a dual purpose: to increase the food self-sufficiency of these countries and reduce the climate impact, also working together with our Ministries to make tools that have so far been too complex and little used such as the climate fund, simpler and more applicable".

“Now we are ready to do it in the Middle East too, we had planned to start from Lebanon but to operate we need stable conditions. The hope", continued Scordamaglia , "is that together with the Ministry, our cooperation and our production chain we can really, in full partnership, work to transform a problem into a solution, according to a strategic model for our country of friendshoring”.

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani also spoke at the round table and, on the sidelines of the meeting, underlined: Italy "will not be intimidated by the threats" of the pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthi rebels, defined as a "terrorist organisation". “If there are attacks, we will respond,” said Tajani, noting: "We are not intimidated, we defend merchant traffic and do not attack anyone, but we do not want to be attacked by anyone."

lml - 38065

EFA News - European Food Agency