The Italian Almanac

eco label

Italian News - July 4

Italy is outshining its European partners when it comes to promoting products which are kinder to the environment. Makers of goods such as fridges, detergents, light bulbs and mattresses have all won the right to display the EU's daisy symbol, or 'Eco-label', on their products in recent years. Out of 309 European companies which have passed the Eco-label environmental impact tests, some 92 are Italian, according to figures presented in Milan on Monday.

A long way behind Italy was Denmark with 53, followed by France with 48 and Spain with 21. Since 2003, the number of Eco-label products available in Italy has shot up by 143% and the total now stands at 1,305. Italian consumer groups such as Adiconsum are wholly behind the Eco-label initiative, seeing it as an ideal way of allowing customers to identify quality products which respect the environment.

Italian consumers have shown an increasing willingness in recent years to buy environmentally-friendly products when they are on offer. This is particularly the case where food is concerned. Italy now produces more organic crops than any other country in the 25-nation bloc, according to the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements.

About a million hectares of Italian farmland is given over to organic crops and the country is responsible for 27% of all organic agriculture in Europe. Italians export a third of their organic output, mostly citrus fruits, olive oil, dairy products and eggs.