Livestock system and biodiversity, public disbandment. #CleanSpades

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The assault on the Italian livestock system by Coldiretti’s magic circle-also through AIA (Italian Livestock Breeders Association) and AIA 2 aka FEDANA-run aground in a European public call on animal husbandry and biodiversity, managed in anomalous ways by MiPAAF and CREA. #CleanSpades.

Background. The assault on the golden calf

The golden calf-that is, the farming system built in Italy over the past 60 years through the efforts of its protagonists and public support-has been besieged over the past two decades by the Coldiretti magic circle. The hegemonic strategy, as seen (1,2), consisted of four stages:

1) Achievement of AIA. Coldiretti first took over the Italian Breeders’ Association in the early 2000s. Castrated of her technical attributes, AIA was imprisoned in the castle of Palazzo Rospigliosi,

2) extermination of APAs, assault of ARAs. In the period 2005-2015, the ‘dome,’ as it is called in the milieu, then ordered the incorporation of the Provincial Breeders’ Associations into the Regional Associations it had gained in the meantime,

3) Looting of related entities. The ANAs (National Association of Purebred Breeders) were forced to cede their shares in the Genetic Laboratory to AIA, which was then sold to Agrotis SpA (AIA’s vault, where the proceeds from the looting of the APAs flowed). From the ashes of Semenitaly, formerly owned by APA Modena, AIA and Fondazione Cariplo formed Inseme SpA,

4) Attack on ANAs. Forced by cogent regulations to loosen the restraint on the National Breed Associations, in 2018 the magic circle creates a clone of AIA, FEDANA aka A IA 2, and tries to impose on the ANAs a statute-capture forcing them to join, transferring financial flows to it. AIA thus colonizes ANAFIJ, ANACLI, ANABIC, (3) ASSONAPA, ANARE and ANAS, then also ANAPRI and ANABORAPI.

The Resistance

ANABORAVA (National Association of Breeders of Valdostana Breed), ANAGA (Alpine Grey) and ANARB (Brown Breed) organize Resistance to the Siege of the Roman Empire. They claim their independence under the law, win the court battles waged against them by the Coldiretti magic circle. And they form the Synergy association, along with FRISITALI (Friesian), ANAJER (Jersey) and RIS BUFALA (Mediterranean Buffalo). (4)

The Resistance organizes the resources needed to develop the cattle breeding system and preserve biodiversity in cattle farms by networking their professional skills and experience with those of researchers from various universities, both European and North American. In July 2020, for the first time in history in recent years, groups of independent associations are competing with the ‘Coldiretti-AIA system’ in bidding for public funding for genetic improvement in animal husbandry.

Biodiversity and dairy cattle

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry allocates about 12 million euros to a project for genetic improvement in the dairy cattle sector through the National Rural Development Plan funded by the 2014-2020 CAP (PSRN Biodiversity, measure 10.2). Three Resistance associations-ANARB, FRISITALI, and ANAJER, the first of which is a recognized breeding body and the others are in the process of being recognized-present an innovative project, developed on the three dairy cattle breeds, that stands out for its balance in pursuing environmental sustainability, production efficiency, and feed efficiency. With scientific support from five universities.

The evaluation committee formed at MiPAAF, however, finds it difficult to reward the value of this project, which contrasts with the one drawn up by the ANAFIJ association. Project, the latter, decidedly more meager from a technical point of view but supported by the Coldiretti-AIA system. The date of awarding the tender is thus postponed repeatedly, without justification. Commissioners stall, most recently at 16.3.20, then at 30.3.20 and then again. After asking the candidates for some additions, even, on the selection criteria in case of a tie. Perhaps seeking a diplomatic solution that nevertheless does not fit their legal duties.

Public debarment

The hesitations of the evaluating commissioners can perhaps find partial explanation in some indications of possible public ‘lurching.’ The commission set up at CREA to choose the evaluating commissioners-chaired by Bernardo de Bernardinis (retired from the Civil Defense, the only member of the Great Risks Commission to have been sentenced to 2 years in prison for manslaughter, sentence suspended, in connection with the L’Aquila earthquake)-was attended by Luca Buttazzoni, former technical director of AIA, who appears to have participated in the CTCs (central technical commissions) of some ANAs that allegedly submitted projects in the call for evaluation. Buttazzoni is also the husband of Luciana Sartori, a newly retired, former head of the central Genealogical Book office of ANAS (National Association of Swine Breeders), herself in the ANAS area. According to some rumors, Ms. Sartori in Buttazzoni still has a working relationship with ANAS pertaining to the PSRN project. The CREA Commission, it should be noted, has 30 out of 100 points of discretion over the evaluation of names.

The first candidate admitted to evaluate the projects in the public debarment under review is Oliviero Olivieri, who was sole administrator of the AIA-owned body, the DQA (Department of Food Quality). Some of the excluded professionals and project proponent associations submitted requests for access to records, which CREA found to be several months overdue. The records of the proceedings, highlights of which are offered in the Appendix, show how the first ranking was withdrawn in self-defense, following an initial report. Only to be resubmitted unchanged, despite the evidence of conflicts of interest of its first applicant and the rules contained in the notice for Measure 16.2, awarded to AIA, which in turn excludes any possible interest with beneficiaries of Measure 10.2. Under penalty of revocation of European funding of which AGEA (General Agency for Agricultural Disbursements), under the leadership of Gabriele Papa Pagliardini – himself in conflict of interest with the Coldiretti magic circle – has precise experience. (5)

Possible responsibilities

Failure of members of tender commissions to abstain when conflicts of interest arise could constitute abuse of office (Criminal Code, Article 323). As well as having overlooked conflicts subsequently reported. And the general manager in any case has a duty to supervise compliance with the entity’s code of conduct. (6)

Added to this are the accounting-administrative and civil liabilities of individuals, which could arise in cases of willful or grossly negligent violations of service obligations, if they cause damage to the administration (or the contracting station) and/or third parties.

#CleanSpades

Any circumstantial news and documents useful for shedding light on anomalies and illegalities found in the management of public resources due to Italian farmers and ranchers can be sent to vanghepulite@gmail.com.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Stefano Patuanelli and CREA Director General Stefano Vaccari are kindly requested to monitor compliance with legality and governance criteria, with particular regard to hypotheses of conflicts of interest, in the administrations they head.

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) 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
(2) 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
(3) Dario Dongo. Coldiretti and the golden calf, Sannio farmers up in arms. #CleanSpades. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 22.3.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/coldiretti-e-il-vitello-d-oro-in-rivolta-gli-allevatori-del-sannio-vanghepulite
(4) Dario Dongo. AIA, FEDANA and the golden calf, farmers in revolt. The example of ANARB. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 4.3.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/aia-fedana-e-il-vitello-d-oro-allevatori-in-rivolta-l-esempio-di-anarb.
(5) Dario Dongo. Report of the Court of Auditors on AGEA directed by Gabriele Papa Pagliardini. #CleanSpades. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 12.3.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/relazione-della-corte-dei-conti-sull-agea-diretta-da-gabriele-papa-pagliardini-vanghepulite
(6) CREA, Code of Ethics. See Articles 6, 7, 15, 16 https://www.crea.gov.it/codice-etico

ANNEX – PUBLIC NOTICE 3-2020