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Finally, after 60 years, orange juice will contain more fruit!
In fact, the minimum percentage goes from 12 to 20%, thanks to the application of an Italian directive of 2014 concerning soft drinks produced in Italy and sold under the name of orange juice.
An extraordinary result for farmers and consumers greeted by Coldiretti with the National day of mobilization from Rome to Reggio Calabria. Following in Catania with initiatives in the square to help citizens read the new labels and celebrate the most consumed citrus fruit in Italy with maxi juices and orange tutors, who provided instructions on the varieties of oranges and the health benefits.
Orange juice in soft drinks, what the law says
Extend the obligation to indicate the origin on the label to orange juice and all fruit juices to prevent juices imported from distant countries from being sold as Made in Italy. This is what Coldiretti asked at the citrus table convened by Minister of Agricultural Policies, Maurizio Martina, to emphasize that "Italy must consistently follow the path of transparency for all agri-food products".
Coldiretti announces this on the occasion of the application of the provisions contained in Law 161 of 30 October 2014 which start from 6 March 2018, twelve months after the successful completion of the notification procedure to the European Commission of the provision on beverages based of fruit juices.
With the new standard - Coldiretti specifies - it helps to offer the right recognition to higher quality drinks by reducing the use of artificial flavors and sugar, the high concentration of which could be used to compensate for the lower quality of products.
So watch out for the labels!
84% of Italians, according to the online consultation of Ministry of Agriculture, considers it important that the origin of the fruit used is indicated in the juices.
The increase in the content of orange juice from 12 to 20% it therefore aims to protect the health of consumers by adapting to a European programmatic context, which tends to promote healthy eating and to spread healthy eating habits.
It has been shown, in fact, that the daily intake of a drink with 20% orange juice helps to meet the daily requirement of vitamin C, as well as to convey a varied mix of phytochemicals that can positively affect the defenses of the immune system.
Orange juice, economic impact on agriculture
The percentage increase in the minimum fruit content corresponds to the use of 200 million kilos more of oranges per year.
Over the past fifteen years, Coldiretti points out, 1 out of 3 orange trees have disappeared in Italy. In addition, there was a consequent halving of lemons (-50%) and an 18% reduction in clementine and mandarin plants.
“60,000 hectares of citrus fruit were lost and 124,000 remained, of which 30,000 in Calabria and 71,000 in Sicily. The prices paid to farmers who are unable to even cover harvest costs due to unfair competition of products imported from abroad, in a situation of economic, social and environmental dumping, are being blamed. "
To date, in fact, for each orange soda sold on the shelves at 1.3 euros per liter, farmers are only awarded 3 cents for the oranges contained. This clearly makes it impossible to cover the costs of production and collection.
Curated by Christel Schachter