AIA, FEDANA and the golden calf, farmers in revolt. The example of ANARB

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AIA (Italian Breeders Association) and AIA 2 aka FEDANA (Federation of National Associations) continue the assault on the golden calf under the complicit indifference of MiPAAF.

However, some breeding groups are not willing to give up their treasures. ANARB, the National Brown Cattle Breeders’ Association, wins the battle in civil courtrooms.

The two groups are now competing for the award of a 12-million-euro tender. Under the National Rural Development Plan (NRDP), submeasure 10.2, animal biodiversity. Will the best man win?

Coldiretti and the assault on the golden calf

The golden calf represents the wealth accumulated by Italian breeders’ associations over more than half a century. Thanks to generous public, European and national funding for the genetic selection of breeds that has so far made it possible to ensure identity and biodiversity of cattle raised in Italy. And the Coldiretti magic circle, over the past two decades, has been dedicated to colonizing the livestock system with a multi-step strategy, as we have seen. (1)

Taking control of AIA, Coldiretti forced the closure of APAs (Provincial Breeder Associations) between 2005 and 2015 to transfer their roles to ARAs (Regional Breeder Associations). He then introduced AIA’s ‘ killer statute in 2015 to arrogate hegemony over the system to himself. Diverting various resources to trading companies also participated in a personal capacity by Coldiretti’s top leadership and their family members (2,3).

AIA and FEDANA, attack on ANARB

FEDANA, aka. AIA 2, was formed in 2018 to circumvent the rules that had been established in the meantime to guarantee free competition in genetic selection services and prevent breeders from registering directly with ANAs (National Breed Associations) and thus freeing themselves from the system of powers and services managed by Coldiretti (4,5,6).

The attack on ANARB, like many other ANAs, took place on 11/27/18. The ARAs, represented by accountants under the Coldiretti Service System Consortium, spoke at the ANARB assembly convened in Rome rather than in Bussolengo (VR) where it is headquartered. And they forced a radical reform of the statute, in defiance of the negative opinion issued by MiPAAF on Oct. 31.18. (7)

ANARB, conquest failed

ANARB’s bylaws–adopted without a resolution of the board of directors, with a negative opinion of the board of auditors, and above all, in violation of the law–were applied immediately, without even waiting for the due approval of the prefecture. Immediate election of new president, as well as mayors and proxies from Coldiretti’s magic circle (e.g., Monica Rispoli, Antonio Cepparulo. See notes 8,9).

The new order expressed itself on 4.12.18 with a power of attorney for the collection of monies intended for ANARB in favor of FEDANA. Power of attorney issued by newly appointed president Marco Silvestri on the basis of a power never provided to him by the meeting but rather reported on a copy of the minutes of the regular meeting that is different from the original. But from there shortly:

– 11.2.19 the farmers elected a new president, Silvano Turato,

– on 18.2.19 the prefecture of Verona denied the registration of the ANARB 2018 statute in the register of legal persons.

ANARB, remediation.

The president of the Brown Breeders, Silvano Turato, immediately pledged to the restoration of the garrison. To ensure ANARB’s autonomy from the aggression and interference of the Coldiretti ‘dome,’ as it is called in the environment:

– 21.2.19 the president reformed the bylaws (bylaws 2019),

– 19.3.19 the 2019 bylaws were approved by the Prefecture,

– 3/21/19 ANARB board ratifies the actions of President Turato.

Magic circle and stamped papers

Monica Rispoli-the Kālī goddess of the supervisory bodies in Coldiretti’s various fiefdoms (10,11)-recurred to the stamped papers against the rebellious ANARB. In an emergency appeal, on 4/17/19, he challenged the resolution 21.3.19 of the ANARB board of directors. But the Verona court ruled that the 2018 statute was ineffective, dismissed the appeal, and ordered Rispoli and others to pay legal costs. (8)

A second appeal was being filed by some ANARB members on 9.12.19, to invalidate both the 2018 bylaws and all subsequent resolutions of the corporate bodies. In order to turn back the hands, when ANARB was still a second-degree association (with which only ARAs but not breeders were associated). The plaintiffs were assisted by Professor Saverio Ruperto, a lawyer already engaged in pleading the cases of AIA and AIA 2 aka FEDANA. (12)

Blackmail failed

The ultimate appeal , if ever successful, would have exposed ANARB to the serious risk of losing eligibility requirements for two European funding calls then in place. (13) The association also intended to participate in a call on biodiversity, in continuation of what it had already done with ANAFIJ (National Association of Friesian and Jersey Breeders) in 2017. But in the meantime ANAFIJ had fallen under the control of Coldiretti’s magic circle, with statute-capture adherence and the appointment of a FEDANA and Agrotis SpA board member, (13) Fortunato Trezzi, as president.

It’s head or gut, was ANAFIJ’sultimatum to ANARB. Submit to FEDANA and commit to disband and merge with ANAFIJ, or the latter would not join the joint funding project submission and ANARB would have to go it alone, with difficulties that appeared insurmountable. A case worthy of investigation for attempted extortion, in the #Clean Spades investigation. (14)

Synergy vs. magic circle

ANARB rejected theultimatum, however, and managed to develop an alternative project, together with FRISITALI (Friesian) and ANAJER(Jersey). Two new national breed associations formed by breeders themselves unwilling to submit to FEDANA. The three ANAs-along with ANAGA (alpine gray), ANABORAVA (Valdostana) and RIS BUFALA (Mediterranean buffalo)-then founded the Synergy association to offer technical services related to selection and biodiversity.

The two groups–on the one hand ANAFIJ (with the support of Coldiretti’s magic circle), on the other ANARB, FRISITALI and ANAJER (with the participation of five universities, from Italy Europe and the U.S.A.–have nominated their respective, competing projects. In the public call ‘for selection of project proposals under the NRDP – Sub-measure 10.2: Animal Biodiversity. (15) European funding worth, for dairy cows alone, 12 million euros over three years. And they can explain why there is so much interest in the golden calf.

Public notice, evaluation committee

The project evaluation committee was appointed in August 2020 by a CREA commission, under delegation from MiPAAF, of which Luca Buttazzoni, former technical director of AIA, is a member. Among the candidates even emerged the name of Antonio Cepparulo, mayor of the National Confederation of Coldiretti and a number of companies related to it, (9) as well as FEDANA-appointed proboviro following the 27.11.18 assault on ANARB.

The selection of candidates has been the subject of lively controversy. In the criteria adopted, because of the wide margin of arbitrariness given to the CREA committee. And in the results, which led to the selection of Oliviero Olivieri. Who was, yes, a professor in veterinary medicine at the University of Perugia, but he was also sole director of DQA (Department of Food Quality) an AIA-owned certification body based just a stone’s throw from Palazzo Rospigliosi.

Public bidding and private interests

ANARB President Silvio Turato sent two PECs to MiPAAF and CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of Agricultural Economics), on 4 and 18.9.20. To denounce the aforementioned conflicts of interest in the examining board of the two competing projects, ANARB and ANAFJ.

CREA first withdrew the ranking list in self-defense and then republished it virtually unchanged. But who verified the independence of the committee that selected the commissioners called to evaluate the projects? What selection criteria were adopted? Who oversaw effective compliance with the criteria of specialization and independence?

Justice

Civil justice was affirmed in the dispute between Monica Rispoli and others v. ANARB on 7/14/20 with the dismissal on remand of the appeal 9/12/20. And also in the judgment on the merits of the lawsuit initiated by some members against the aforementioned association, on 9.10.20, with final dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims and an order to pay legal fees in the amount of 10 thousand euros.

‘Member States shall ensure, for each rural development program, that the relevant management and control systems are in place to ensure a clear allocation and separation of functions between the managing authority and other bodies. Member states are responsible for the smooth operation of the systems throughout the programming period’ (EU reg. 1305/2013, Article 65.3).

Criminal justice still waits, for many years now. Is it still possible to turn the other way and omit dutiful acts of office?

#CleanSpades

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) Dario Dongo. Coldiretti, AIA and the golden calf. Operation AIA 2, aka FEDANA.. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 25.2.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/coldiretti-aia-e-il-vitello-d-oro-l-operazione-aia-2-alias-fedana

(2) See, e.g., Inseme SpA, recapitalized by CAI SpA in which B.F. SpA participates, in whose shareholding structure is Arum SpA, whose shareholders include the companies of the wife of Vincenzo Gesmundo, secretary general of Coldiretti, and Ettore Prandini its president. In addition to the countless social assignments of the usual knowns. See notes 1,3

(3) Dario Dongo. CAI SpA, Federconsorzi 2. Federico Vecchioni’s Great Binge and Coldiretti’s magic circle. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 16.2.21 https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/cai-spa-federconsorzi-2-la-grande-abbuffata-di-federico-vecchioni-e-il-cerchio-magico-di-coldiretti

(4) Dario Dongo. Coldiretti, AIA and the golden calf. #CleanSpades are urgently needed. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 9.2.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/coldiretti-aia-e-il-vitello-d-oro-vanghepulite-urgono

(5) Reg. (EU) 2016/1012 on zootechnical and genealogical conditions applying to breeding, trade and entry into the Union of pure-bred breeding animals, hybrid breeding pigs and their germinal material. Consolidated text as of 6/29/16 at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/?qid=1612803363378&uri=CELEX%3A32016R1012

(6) Legislative Decree. 11.5.18, n. 52. Regulation of animal reproduction in implementation of Article 15 of Law July 28, 2016, no. 154. (18G00076). https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2018/05/25/18G00076/sg

(7) The notary then ratified the assembly resolution despite the negative opinion of MiPAAF, prescribed by Leg. 52/18 to Article 6.2

(8) The bylaws-capestro imposed by Coldiretti-also provided for FEDANA’s designation of ANARB’s supervisory bodies. And it was censured, also in this respect, by the Court of Verona (Third Civil Section, Order 11.9.19, G.R. 3670/2019)

(9) Dario Dongo. Federconsorzi 2, CAI SpA, AgriRevi, Coldiretti. The jerk dinner. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 31.1.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/federconsorzi-2-cai-spa-agrirevi-coldiretti-la-cena-dei-cretini

(10) Monica Rispoli’s assignments-a cadre in the Sistema Servizi consortium company where Raffaele Grandolini is managing director-are several. So much for the incompatibilities provided for in the Civil Code (Art. 2399):

– Consorzio Produttori di Campagna Amica S.C.p.A. (whose president is Raffaele Grandolini), chairman of the board of auditors,
– Filiera Agricola Italiana S.p.A. (managing director Raffaele Grandolini), auditor
– Filiera Italiana Riso SpA (Raffaele Grandolini auditor), alternate auditor
– APOL S.c. a r.l., a predominantly mutual agricultural cooperative society, statutory auditor
– Organizzazione Tabacco Nazionale Italia, an agricultural cooperative company with limited liability (ONT Italia S.c. a r.l.), auditor
– AgriRevi SpA, chairman of the Board of Directors (see note 9).
– Nerò Servizi S.r.l., auditor and statutory auditor,
– Sardinia Olive Producers Association, agricultural cooperative society, sole auditor.

Monica Rispoli’s various previous positions in the livestock system include serving as an alternate auditor of Inseme SpA (from 10/27/16 to 12/31/16), established from the ashes of Semenitaly (of the Modena APA, later purchased by AIA-owned CIZ and also recapitalized by CAI (Consorzi Agrari d’Italia) S.p.A, aka Federconsorzi 2. Whose audit was followed by AgriRevi SpA, of which Monica Rispoli is president, until 18.12.20 (see note 11)

(11) Dario Dongo. Consorzi Agrari d’Italia, Bonifiche Ferraresi and Filiera Agricola Italiana SpA, the vase is full. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 23.1.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/consorzi-agrari-d-italia-bonifiche-ferraresi-e-filiera-agricola-italiana-spa-il-vaso-è-colmo

(12) Prof. avv. Saverio Ruperto, consultant of AIA (Italian Livestock Breeders Association), is among other authors of:

– Legal opinions in support of the ANARB 2018 bylaws (declared ineffective by the Verona court),
– legal opinion sent by president pro-tempore Marco Silvestri to the prefecture of Verona, in January 2019, for approval of said statute (which never took place)
– appeal 17.4.19 to the court of Verona on behalf of Monica Rispoli and others against ANARB (appeal dismissed)
– 9.12.19 appeal to Verona court on behalf of some members against ANARB (appeal dismissed)
– other action against ANABORAVA (National Association of Breeders of Valdostan Breeds).

(13) Agrotis SpA is the corporation to which AIA sold the public treasure of the Genetics Laboratory. See footnote 4

(14) Criminal Code, Articles 56 and 629. 110 or 416, 416-bis, depending on what will be further established

(15) Reg. EU 1305/2013, on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Consolidated text as of 1.1.21 at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32013R1305&qid=1614890049077