Rice imports into Italy from key suppliers such as India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia have surged beyond 141 million kilograms in the first eight months of 2023. In recent days, however, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, backed by a substantial majority, urged the EU Commission to retract its proposal to escalate tricyclazole limits -an influential pesticide prohibited within the European Union but extensively employed by leading rice-producing and exporting nations, notably in Asia and South America.
The EU Environment Committee asserts that the proposed regulatory measure fails to uphold commitments aimed at preserving competitiveness in the European Union market and ensuring robust consumer safety standards. It could potentially introduce trade barriers or disruptions, resulting in substantial adverse effects on both consumers and agricultural stakeholders.
According to Coldiretti, the Italian farmers’ association, “The dissenting stance on tricyclazole in rice marks an initial stride toward upholding the principle of reciprocity in Europe. This entails ensuring that all food products entering European borders adhere to uniform criteria, thereby guaranteeing shared standards of quality concerning the environment, labor, and health.”
Italy, the primary contributor to 50% of the EU’s total rice production, boasts a distinctive range of varieties concentrated predominantly in Lombardy, Veneto, and Piedmont. Coldiretti emphasizes, “Renowned varieties that have shaped the narrative of Italian rice cultivation include Carnaroli, often referred to as the ‘king of rice’ due to its high starch content and robust texture; Arborio, characterized by its large, pearly grains that swell during cooking; VialoneNano, the inaugural rice to secure recognition as a Protected Geographical Indication; Roma, and Baldo.”