Pasta, coffee, extra-virgin olive oil, legumes and jams. Typical products of the Italian tradition arrived in restaurants and delis in the Flanders. Nothing new, you’d say – actually, these products are labelled “Terra Libera” and this guarantees they have nothing to do with Mafia.
The association ‘Libera’, founded in 1995 by Don Luigi Ciotti and the then magistrate Giancarlo Caselli, was born to stimulate the civil society in fighting Mafia and promoting justice. It now counts on over 1,600 members, groups schools and territorial institutions. Thanks to the Law n.109 of 1996, the properties confiscated from convicted Mafiosos can be re-used and re-distributed to social cooperatives. The products of those terrains are the food produces labelled as ‘Terra Libera’ and sold as symbol of legality.
The anti-Mafia crusade has attracted biologic delis, restaurants, and even several cultural centres of the Flanders. ‘Vooruit de Gand’, for instance, a restaurant of the zone, has already signed a contract for the supply of three tons of pasta a year. Behind the label ‘Terra Libera’ there is a guarantee of high quality typical of the ‘made in Italy’ as well as great values to be exported. Wallonia and Brussels, where Italian products are quite popular, could be the next to embrace the initiative.
Notwithstanding the enormous progresses made over time in fighting Mafia and the products connected to it, there are still too many episodes to be denounced. For instance Coldiretti, the Federation of Italian farmers, has recently took a census of the most scandalous examples of food products sold in Europe and all around the world, labelled with names recalling episodes and symbols of crime. From ‘The Godfather’ tonic liquor to ‘Chilli Mafia’ snacks and ‘Caffè Mafiozzo’ and ‘Al Capone’ cigars.
A true business speculating on one of the most painful wounds of Italian society, this facts have led Coldiretti to establish the Observatory on Crime into Agriculture and Agricultural system. The Scientific Committee, in charge of informing consumers, fighting counterfeiting and exposing behaviours against legality, the former magistrate Giancarlo Caselli.