Farm products’ direct sale in accordance with national and EC Regulations
Primary production has always been considered the weak link in the entire food production chain (from farm to fork) and, due also to the grave health and food emergencies that have taken place over the years (BSE, dioxin, avian flu etc.), greater attention has been focused on the production stage, together with the need to regain the consumers’ faith. To preserve and support small farms in a local setting and, consistent with the aims of flexibility and respecting the main requisites contained in the EC Regulations (No. 852/2004; No. 853/2004) (European Commission, 2004; 2004a), production is allowed for tastingadministration on the premises and the processing and sales of agricultural products produced exclusively on the farm, such as: fresh meat from poultry and rabbits and small farmed wild animals; processed meats obtained from animals raised on the farm and from hunting; fishing and aquaculture products; raw milk for direct human consumption and dairy products; eggs, honey, fruit and vegetables, woodland products; jams and preserved fruit, flours, vegetable preserves, wild above ground and underground mushrooms; dried fruits, fruit juices, cereals, syrups; oil, wine, bread and baked products. This possibility is reserved for individual farmers or co-operatives, registered in the company register according to Article 8 of the Law 29th December 1993 No. 580 (Italian Republic, 1993); who may sell directly inside and outside farm, products coming mainly from the respective farms, observing the current regulations regarding health and hygiene. All this should provide an instrument for rural and competitive development for the entire European agricultural production chain strongly influenced by the marketing conditions imposed by the mass retailing groups on their own suppliers. Not least is the possibility of creating work and occupation and adequately counteracting the phenomenon of the depopulation of the countryside, encouraging the return to agricultural activities on the part of young people; and, consequently, a form of safeguarding the environment by reducing the costs linked to hydro-geological instability and soil maintenance. This trend, together with the national directions, may represent a support even for small local farms which, taking advantage of simplified procedures consistent with the objectives of flexibility of the community Regulations (EC) (No. 852/2004; No. 853/2004) (European Commission, 2004; 2004a), may take part in the promotion of agricultural markets managed directly by the farmers as sales points for local products (farmers’ markets), so as to guarantee a fairer price and consolidate the territorial link between production and consumption (short distribution chain or short circuit). Without, of course, renouncing the necessary prerequisites for placing any food on the market: health-hygiene; traceability; health and well-being of the animals; safeguarding of the environment and the plants.
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