It is difficult to sum up in a short report the large number of problems that affect any industrial sector, especially the one of “alimentary pasta”. In fact, in this sector, the interests of the main different players – from agriculture to industry – are interwoven and players’ needs hardly find mutually shared solutions.
Debating about a development policy of the sector leads to consider resolutive yet often contradictory options, and in particular the impact of long-awaited solutions that are still far from being positively implemented.
In other words, the “policy” of this commodity sector shall also be considered as an organized and mutually integrated attempt of putting together many factors which are usually in contrast or tend to cancel each other out. These factors shall rather find precise directions towards tangible solutions that should be based on their convinced and unavoidable “interdependence”, from raw materials production to finished products, marketing and distribution, although focusing on mixed elements and interests as well as varied specialized solutions.
In this perspective, in order to fully understand the problems that need to be tackled, here is a list of operators involved: seed producers, farmers, millers, pasta-makers – be it homemade or industrial pasta, equipment and machine makers, operators in the field of logistics, transports and distribution network. In all these sectors, rules and regulations, specific economic factors, research, new technologies and innovation shall indicate the development paths to which each and everyone shall have access in order to improve its economic position within heated but somehow “harmonized” debates ”.
Having stressed that, it is also necessary to remind the readers which are the major problems the pasta sector has to face.
Some of them are major general issues which do not have an impact exclusively on this sector: economic globalization, heterogeneity of European, Italian (national and regional) and global legislations, increase in global food needs, dramatic lack of homogeneity in the availability and distribution of resources, even the most basic ones, and so on and so forth.
Other problems are every bit as complicated, although they are more sector-specific: quality, certainty and traceability of basic raw materials; recognizability, food safety and quality compliance of finished products that meet consumers’ tastes and habits. These are major issues related to the production and development process; in order to find a solution, the contribution of one or few operators in the sector will certainly not be enough.
When these problems come up in many studies or conferences – in terms of request or complaint – the general answer is that a “supply-chain policy” is needed. This perspective is undoubtedly positive, if it is pursued perfectly knowing how difficult this task can be, in particular through the real willingness of players to jointly face the issues.
We just want to declare that improvement and progress are possible and to paraphrase Saint-Exupéry: progress in civilization is possible «when men work together».