ANABIC takes the field to tackle the Chianina crisis
The president of ANABIC writes to the Consortium of Vitellone Bianco dell'Appennino Centrale Igp
19, Oct 2023
The market crisis and the sharp reduction in prices to the detriment of breeders which for some months have been weighing on the entire production chain of Chianina beef is putting numerous livestock companies that breed this important and famous breed of Italian bovine heritage at risk.
ANABIC (National Association of Italian Meat Cattle Breeders), after meeting numerous farmers to delve deeper and analyze the situation, promoted a first concrete initiative and wrote to the Consortium for the Protection of White Veal of the Central Apennines PGI to ask for the modification of the "Lines guide relating to the use of the PGI mark on processed products containing meat", where hamburgers represent the predominant part.
Currently, beef burgers that contain only 75% certified meat can also boast the PGI quality mark: the remaining 25% can therefore come from any other breed, meat and/or milk, even of foreign origin.
Burgers made with mixed meats of various species, therefore beef, pork and poultry, must instead be prepared with 50% certified meat in order to boast the PGI mark.
“In order to encourage greater use of White Veal of the Central Apennines PGI and in particular of the Chianina breed in processed meat products, primarily hamburgers – we read in the letter from the president of ANABIC, Luca Panichi , addressed his counterpart from the Protection Consortium - in the interests of farmers we ask to increase the percentage of certified meat to be used from 75% to 100% in order to authorize the use of the PGI mark on processed meat-based products and on Hamburger. We believe that this is a first, strong signal to fully valorise the PGI Vitellone Bianco dell'Appennino Centrale brand and its breeds, in particular the Chianina, placing a very widely and growingly consumed product such as the hamburger at the center of this initiative. We are convinced that this would favor an increase in demand for PGI veal, would guarantee greater transparency in the production chain of processed products bearing the brand, and would facilitate the understanding of the labels".
For Luca Panichi, the relaunch of Chianina meat and overcoming the crisis that operators in the sector are suffering necessarily passes through here.
“The Chianina breed is the one that drives the IGP brand of Vitellone Bianco dell'Appennino Centrale – explains the president of ANABIC – and represents more than 50% of the annual certifications. Demand from the market shows no signs of contraction, so much so that in the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2022, we recorded 192 more certifications. We must not forget the increase in production costs borne by farmers which in one year recorded an average surge of 30% due to the increase in energy costs, those for the purchase of hay, straw, feed, seeds , diesel for haymaking".
A situation which is an understatement to define as complex and which requires targeted and effective actions.
“The modification we are asking for - Panichi further specifies - does not only concern the meat of the Chianina breed, but also that of the other two breeds that fall within the PGI of the Vitellone Bianco dell'Appennino Centrale, the Romagnola and the Marchigiana, and this is why we also addressed the letter for information to the Ministry of Agriculture, to the regional councilors for Agriculture of Umbria, Marche, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise and Campania, (the regions affected by the PGI mark), as well as to the three agricultural confederations Coldiretti, Confagricoltura and Cia. In fact, the topic involves a large number of breeders of native Italian meat breeds, today at the center of a market crisis which risks causing the dispersion of a highly valuable heritage and which represents one of the identity aspects of the Italian production regions. The stakes are very high – concludes Luca Panichi in his reflection – we must act quickly with concrete and effective actions. We think this is a great start."