Producers' organizations called on institutions to take steps toward peace, while farmers in several Italian cities rallied against the war in Ukraine.
As the dramatic escalation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the loss of human life and destruction, farmers in Italy spoke out for peace.
The major producers’ organizations warned that not only does the conflict endangers world stability, but it also jeopardizes the future of hundreds of thousands of agriculture workers.
The war in Ukraine represents yet another threat to our economy, with sanctions and embargoes that increase the costs of raw materials, block trade, disrupt markets and further encourage speculation.
Farmers, ranchers and fishermen took the streets in Genoa, Bari, Venezia and Verona to demonstrate against the war and for more help for the agricultural sector, the economy and jobs.
They held up signs saying: “Putin let’s make peace” (in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin), “Put flowers in your guns,” “Stop the war that increases hunger” and “Let’s empty the arsenals, fill the granaries.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic has already led us to a scenario of hoarding, price increases and speculation that is putting our businesses to the test,” said Gianluca Boeri and Bruno Rivarossa, respectively president and confederal delegate of Coldiretti Liguria.
“In this period of recovery, it is unacceptable that farmers, olive growers, fishermen and floriculturists find themselves working below-cost or being forced to reduce their production or shut down the greenhouses,” they added.
“The war in Ukraine represents yet another threat to our economy, with sanctions and embargoes that increase the costs of raw materials, block trade, disrupt markets and further encourage speculation,” Boeri and Rivarossa continued.
According to a Coldiretti analysis of data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), the war unleashed by Putin poses a threat to the Italian agri-food exports to Russia and Ukraine, which reached over €1 billion in 2021, with sales to the two countries amounting to €670 million and €350 million, respectively.
“No to war as a resolution of disputes between nations” is the appeal released by Donne in Campo, the women’s association of the Italian Confederation of Farmers (CIA), following the continued fighting and bombardment of Ukraine over the last few days.
“The global crisis triggered by the pandemic must lead to a change in the scale of values, in the decisive rejection of oppression and the search for lasting balance,” said the president of Donne in Campo, Pina Terenzi.
“We are very worried about the intensification of the conflict because agriculture would pay a very high price and, with it, as always happens in war scenarios, the whole of society,” she added.
The CIA women recalled the principle, clearly confirmed by the Italian constitution, that is today more relevant than ever: no democratic government can ignore the assumption that the path to real progress and sustainable development can only be based on the capacity to avoid the use of force in defence of opposing interests.
“We, therefore, believe that the European Union, in its effort to take the lead in overcoming the crisis, can play an important role in defending the balance on the continent and reaffirming its commitment to peace and prosperity,” Terenzi concluded.