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Cheese Manufacturing in the Twentieth Century

The Italian Experience in an International Context


Edited By Rita Maria Michela d'Errico, Claudio Besana and Renato Ghezzi

Since the end of the nineteenth century the dairy sectors of some industrialised European and American countries have experienced a phase of growth that took place at a different rate and in a different manner in each country, and which was made possible by the availability of raw materials and a more widespread knowledge of scientific and technological methods. The sector’s expansion was favoured by a revolution in transport networks, the beginning of globalisation in world markets and, decisively, by advances in packaging and refrigeration techniques. Italy in particular, despite its low availability of raw materials compared to other countries, rose quickly throughout the last century to become one of the largest international producers and exporters of cheese, especially of high value PDO cheeses. What factors were behind this achievement and which were the strengths and weaknesses of the sector during the twentieth century? The articles presented in this volume attempt to provide an answer to these questions from different points of view and using different interpretative approaches. The geographical range covered by these studies also reaches beyond Italy in order to look at other countries with relatively ancient dairy traditions. This comparative approach, although limited to just a few countries, is important in that it allows us to describe the evolution of a milk and dairy sector which has had such a large influence on the economic life of many regions in the Italian peninsula.

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The Influence of the European Institutions and Policies on the Italian Dairy Sector (Stefanella Stranieri / Paolo Tedeschi)


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The Influence of the European Institutions and Policies on the Italian Dairy Sector

Stefanella STRANIERI

University of Milan


University of Milan-Bicocca

1. Introduction: topics and aims

The aim of this chapter is to show how European institutions and policies influenced the Italian dairy sector from the 1960s up to the new millennium.1 More precisely, this chapter illustrates the effects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on the reorganization and competitiveness of European agricultural activities. A special focus on the diary sector is provided. The CAP progressively reduced tariff barriers on trade of agri-food products among European countries, and at the same time strictly regulated the competition between European and extra-EU firms. The enlargement of agri-food trade enhanced foreign competition for the Italian dairy products: besides, it strongly influenced the production and the price of the milk. At the same time, the European Parliament and Commission progressively modified all the phases of the productive systems of dairy products in order to guarantee the health of consumers and correct competition between producers. To achieve this goal, a normative framework oriented towards increasing information among the operators of the dairy chain and among consumers was progressively established: so these latter were able to know all the product ingredients and to have information about the supply chain. All the decisions taken by the European institutions modified the existing conditions of European dairy markets and obliged the dairy...

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