Report on existing GAPs related to the legal framework on quality schemes and consumer health in Molise Region

According to the Activity A.T1.2 “Analysis of the existing GAPs related to the legal framework on quality schemes and consumer” of the project FOOD4HEALTH, the partnership should identify and analyze the GAPs about the legal framework of quality schemes (EU “quality standards”, “quality products labels”) and of consumer health in the cross-border area. With this deliverable, Molise Region intends to provide for information about the EU, Italian and Regional Laws about the abovementioned legal framework to integrate with the information given by the other partners.

Molise is often described as a predominantly agricultural region, so we could think that farming represents the most important sector of the regional economy. However, that’s not the case. In fact, the interpretation of some macroeconomic indicators like the ratio “work force employed in agriculture/total work force”, which in Molise is around 11% or the incidence of the agricultural activity over the total wealth produced in the region (which is close to 4%), may have been the cause of this characterisation. Both those indicators are almost double the national average however they are pretty low in percentage terms and other economic sectors count for less compared to the national average. In particular the service industry, which is still the most important one in Molise, is around 70,9% compared to 73,1% of the national average. Also, the relevant number of work force employed in agriculture is a consequence of this situation. Because it’s difficult to find employment elsewhere, many family members tend to work in the farm even though additional work force is not really needed and this situation causes an overestimation of the agricultural work force and a deterioration of productivity.

Grain farming and fodder production are the most viable cultivations in addition to extended grazing land, all of which guarantee low incomes. Animal husbandry, mostly bovine breeding, is also very popular but because it is difficult to produce cheap cattle feed (corn) and because of the low number of raised animals per farm, this activity produces a low income too. So extra-national competition takes advantage of those high production costs, even though foreign quality is not as good.

However, looking at the data of foreign commercial exchange related to agricultural and food production we discover a different Molise, where we have a positive balance between export and import thanks to a good performance of its quality products. It can be proud of its clean environment and almost unchanged ecosystems rich in biodiversity, where it’s possible to get healthy and quality products like olives, milk, meat, wheat and grapes. A quality that improves through a tradition of time-honored workmanship and processing techniques

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