slow pace of institutional change in the Italian food system
Ferretti, M.P. | Magaudda, P.
Recent surveys show that Italians have little trust in the food they eat. This seems at odds with the world-wide popularity of Italian food, and the very prominent role that the agro-food sector has in the national economy and culture. This paper aims to explain this apparent contradiction by examining recent political and economic changes in the food sector. From the analysis it emerges that, facing institutional crises and food scandals, Italian politicians have left the task of reassuring consumers to the market. However, the market actors' strategy has been to prioritise the discourse of food quality, but give little weight to some other important preoccupation of consumers, such as safety. To address these concerns a more proactive role of the State would be required. An actual concern of public institutions with consumer needs, institutional efficiency, transparency and accountability emerges as a crucial factor in restoring and maintaining trust.Show more [+] Less [-]