The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - January 9

This looks like the year when sales of locally grown quality foods will take off, Italian farmers say. Thanks to a new law, local specialities must have their own space on supermarket shelves. The law requires farmers and supermarkets to negotiate the percentage of local produce that will vie with mass-produced products.

Town councils must also set aside open-air spots where farmers can sell their products, the law says. Until now, such products have usually been sold at the roadside. "From this year it will be easier to buy typical Italian products in piazzas and supermarkets," said farmers' association Coldiretti.

Italy's range of quality produce is second to none. Many of them have garnered European Union seals of provenance, pushing Italy to the top of the EU quality-food chart.