Italy holds high as pasta prices soar | world news

The Italian government held a summit on Thursday to discuss a crisis striking at the heart of the nation: soaring pasta prices.

Industry Minister Adolfo Urso called the meeting last week after prices rose by more than double the national inflation rate.

According to his ministry, the cost of spaghetti and other pasta products rose year-on-year by 17.5% in March against consumer inflation of 8.1%. And this, despite a drop in wheat prices.

The meeting brought together representatives from the food industry and consumer rights groups, and pledged to monitor the market and ensure that cuts in producer prices are passed on to buyers.

The commission said prices were “already showing early, albeit weak, signs of a [decrease]sign that in the coming months the price of pasta will drop significantly.”

It’s hard to overstate the importance of pasta as a national staple: the average Italian eats around 23 kg of pasta every year, which equates to a 60 g serving a day.

Many Italians think the prices are artificially high. The consumer group Assoutenti puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of the pasta producers.

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“There is no justification for the increases other than pure speculation from large food groups who also want to supplement their budgets with additional profits,” Furio Truzzi, chairman of the group, told The Washington Post.

“Pasta is a staple in the Italian diet. Raising its price would be like raising the price of corn on the cob for Americans,” he said.

Others, however, noted the impact of the war in Ukraine on world wheat prices and said the current retail price of pasta reflected input costs for producers months ago.

“The pasta on the shelves today was produced months ago when durum wheat [was] purchased at high prices and with energy costs at the height of the crisis,” said Michele Crippa, Italian professor of gastronomic sciences.

Francesco Mutti, managing director of the Mutti company, which makes tomato sauce for pasta, also pushed back against suggestions that the industry was pricing gouging.

“When prices go up, you take on the risk of losing market share, and that’s not good for anyone. When you go up in price, you don’t do it lightly,” he said. in La Stampa.


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