The organic food industry in Italy has an annual turnover of 3 billion euro. It is the EU country with the largest number of organic holdings. This is counterfeit waiting to happen you would say. Indeed!
The Italian police have arrested seven men and seized approximately 2,500 tons of food, after an extensive investigation into fake organic food being sold in The Netherlands and other European countries.
The police stated that since 2007 about 700,000 tons (!) of food – with a value of nearly 300 million euro – has been sold as organic, while it was not. The counterfeit organic food was sold not only in Italy, but also in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary.
Amongst the arrested persons are managers of large agricultural producers, such as Bioecoitalia, Sona and Sunnyland, and one employee of a public authority that issues certificates for organic food.