Organic Tomatoes in Italy
Italy is the second most important processed tomato producer in the world, at 13.6% of the world production of processed tomatoes. Almost half of the Italian production originates in the tomato cluster of northern Italy, and the lion’s share of the cultivated area is concentrated in Emilia Romagna. Organic tomato growing and production can be considered niche activities – accounting for only 6.6% of the utilized agricultural area – but they are subject to increasing consumer demand. The northern Italy tomato cluster is characterized by a unique governance mechanism which brings together producer associations, associations of producer associations and processor associations in an inter-branch organization. Partly because of the existence of this unique governance mechanism, organic processed tomatoes in the northern Italy cluster appear to be more sustainable than their reference product in almost all the domains measured by the systematic indicators employed in the assessment. Organic tomatoes do not perform better than their reference product in terms of export share, blue water footprint and gender equality.
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