Presented the report of the Ravenna CABs: a world that employs 606 people. Organic land reaches 16.5%.

The presentation of the report, now in its ninth edition, took place in the presence of the President of the Province, Michele de Pascale, the Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Alessio Mammi, the President of Legacoop Agroalimentare, Cristian Maretti, and the President of Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, Giovanni Monti. The report was presented by Aldo Zoppo from the management consulting office of Federcoop Romagna, while Stefano Patrizi, president of Promosagri, opened the meeting.

Ravenna, November 12, 2021 - The commitment of the Agricultural Cooperative Laborers (CABs) in the province of Ravenna to sustainable work and agriculture continues. Land for organic production has increased from 1,898 to 1,928 hectares, 16.5% of the total land cultivated by CABs, twice the provincial average. The remaining part is cultivated with the method of integrated production. In addition, there are now 932 hectares dedicated to renaturalization with woods, groves, hedges and ponds: an aid to biodiversity, but also to the hydrogeological stability of the territory. 

The data were presented on Friday, November 12, at the Guiccioli Farm in Mandriole, Ravenna, during the annual report of the farmworker cooperatives. Today the seven CABs (Massari, Fusignano, Agrisfera, Ter.Ra., Comprensorio Cervese, Campiano, Bagnacavallo and Faenza) employ 606 people, 382 of whom are members. Together they have net book assets of 116 million euros and generate annual revenues of 40 million, cultivating 11,700 hectares of land, 10% of the usable agricultural area in the province of Ravenna. 2020 was a good year, with a production per hectare of more than 2 thousand euros, a figure reached earlier only in 2017, but the challenges of drought and increasingly extreme weather events appear increasingly serious, in the absence of global responses.

Over the years, CABs have diversified their activities, which today concern not only agricultural production, but also plants for the production of energy from renewable sources - which generate over 40,000 MW per year, contributing 17.7% of turnover. Animal husbandry is also important: every year 6.5 million liters of organic milk are delivered to the cooperative chain. Among the activities, there are also two agritourisms (Massari, in Conselice, and Tenuta Augusta, in Mandriole), which further expand the range of activities. 

With 10% of the usable agricultural land in the province of Ravenna, the group of Cooperative Agricultural Workers (CAB) is one of the largest in Italy and Europe. However, this is not the reason why university research speaks of a system that is "unique in the world", but rather because the indivisible and cooperative ownership of these lands has been handed down for over a century, from generation to generation of members, according to the principles of mutualism. 

The presentation of the report, now in its ninth edition, took place in the presence of the President of the Province, Michele de Pascale, of the Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Alessio Mammiof the president of Legacoop Agroalimentare, Cristian Marettiand the president of Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, Giovanni Monti. Presenting the report Aldo Zoppo of the management consulting office of Federcoop Romagna, while Stefano PatriziPresident of Promosagri, opened the meeting. 

Among the authorities were Sen. Stefano CollinaPresident of the Po Delta Park, Aida Morelli, and the president of the Consorzio di Bonifica della Romagna, Stefano Francia.

"After 9 years of reporting - said in conclusion the president of Legacoop Romagna, Mario Mazzotti - we can say that CABs are more sustainable, integrated and digital, necessary conditions to play their fundamental role within the supply chain in favor of the environment, quality of production and guaranteed work. However, the increase in raw materials worries us, as does the uncertainty about European contributions. In 2022 it will be the centenary of the fascist assault on the headquarters of the cooperatives in Ravenna. On that occasion we will organize important initiatives to remember the role that agricultural cooperatives have always had as a democratic garrison".

"Today the main threat to humanity - said the president of Promosagri, Stefano Patrizi - and the unsustainability of natural resource exploitation. The problem is already taking a very heavy toll on our companies on water, weather, plant disease and wildlife, things that all local institutions need to act on to allow companies to adapt. The good news is that we are beginning to understand that it can only be addressed by international policy." 

"Great challenges await us - said the regional councillor Alessio Mammi - and CABs represent an example to look at for their history, commitment and production capacity.  The presence of strong and competitive agricultural supply chains is increasingly a strategic factor at the national level, in the face of climate change. To take Italian agriculture into the future, resources and strategic vision are needed. Emilia-Romagna was the first region to have its Rural Development Plan approved, with a package of 408 million euro on the way. Now it is necessary to quickly commit the resources of the PNRR, assigning them to the territories that have the ability to spend: it is no longer justifiable a public system in which it is not possible to spend European resources".

"The CABs - said the president of Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, Giovanni Monti - are an example of how the intergenerational theme is central to the distinctiveness of the cooperative movement: there is no other type of enterprise that, instead of distributing assets among its members, has in its DNA the transmission of assets to future ones. The value of innovation has been central to this logic, which has led CABs to become one of Italy's most important experiences in the sector. And that's not all: at a time when the issue of quality of work in agriculture is very relevant, CABs have always been an element of guarantee, as well as of development of the sense of community and relationship with the territory".

"The laborer cooperatives - he warned. Cristian Maretti, president of Legacoop Agroalimentare nazionale - are a fundamental pivot of the cooperative supply chain, they are an added value for the entire agricultural sector, also because they were ahead of their time on many issues that are now being advocated globally, from organic farming to precision agriculture. Now the increase in raw material prices represents a further element of great uncertainty with respect to the choices on crop plans.  Instead, we need certainty and clarity, and this is what we expect from the relationships with ministerial and governmental institutions regarding the issues that agitate the sector, first of all the absence of a national strategic plan".

"The report of the CABs is an important event for the whole community - explained in his greeting the President of the Province, Michele de Pascale - because it allows you to listen to and understand the trends in your sector. It is a very delicate moment in which attention is needed from the institutions, especially for a peculiarity such as that expressed by the system of agricultural labor cooperatives. A reality that must be made understood and told at all levels".

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