mercoledì 24 settembre 2014

Italian farmers raise health alarm over 20% drop in fruit, veg spending

'Italians buy less than recommended quantity of produce'

(ANSA) - Rome, September 24 - Italian consumers and farmers are at risk as spending on fruits and vegetables has dropped by fully 20% since the start of the global economic crisis, producers' association Coldiretti said on Wednesday.

As a result, Italian families are putting their health at risk by neglecting to eat essential food groups while the fall in demand may drive producers out of business, the group suggested. It tied the fall to the crisis that began in 2007 and has led to Italy suffering three recessions, including the present downturn. "The effects of the downward spiral of deflation and consumption which began in 2007 are putting businesses and consumers' health at risk", Coldiretti said.

Italians are buying approximately 700 pounds of produce annually - significantly less than the World Health Organization's recommended amount of 880 pounds per year, according to the producers group.

Although sales of apples, oranges and bananas have increased, produce purchases fell by 2% in the first half of 2014 compared to 2013, the group said. Italian orchards have reduced acreage by 28%, Coldiretti added. 

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