Germina Campus, Coldiretti’s holding company speculating on farmers. #CleanSpades

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Germina Campus S.p.A. is the holding company that Coldiretti uses to grind profits on the backs of Italian farmers and ranchers. A paradigm of conflicts of interest and distortions of competition on the commercial supply – indeed, the imposition – of goods and services on the association system.

The millionaire salaries of Coldiretti’s magic circle and the splendors of Palazzo Rospigliosi, on the other hand, need reliable, continuous and growing sources of income. As no one better than those who work the heavy land can offer, in the agricultural feudalism of modern times.

Politics and the judiciary, government agencies and supervisory bodies, so far, have looked the other way. While the press merely uncritically relays the often fake news yellow flags (1,2). And the mosaic, little by little, is being enriched with new pieces. #CleanSpades.

Germina Campus S.p.A and Coldiretti, the archetypal conflict of interest

Germina Campus (GerCam) S.p.A., share capital € 15.492 million, is the safe of the ‘agricultural union’ Coldiretti, which is its sole shareholder. In fact, its Board of Directors is composed of:

Ettore Prandini, president. Also president of Coldiretti and business partner of the Federconsorzi 2 galaxy through its Agricola Quadrifoglio Srl (shareholder of Arum SpA, where also until a few months ago the Progresso Srl of Vincenzo Gesmundo’s family participated), shareholder of B.F. (Bonifiche Ferraresi) SpA, (3)

Raffaele Grandolini, managing director. As well as attorney general and head of Administration, Finance and General Affairs of Coldiretti. The King Midas of Palazzo Rospigliosi surpasses myth with more than two dozen, often conflicting, assignments (4)

Vincenzo Gesmundo, councilor as well as secretary general of Coldiretti. Former Federconsorzi auditor, ‘implicated in a fraudulent bankruptcy trial‘ then lost in the dust. (5) Quoted by L’Espresso as ‘peasant and millionaire‘ because of golden salaries. (6) The ‘ras of Coldiretti,’ in the now famous Poison Dossier. (3)

The leader of leaders

The boss of bosses-Vincenzo Gesmundo, unnamable in the corridors of Palazzo Rospigliosi-has consolidated his absolute power following the early resignation of Coldiretti President Sergio Marini. Thanks to a statutory reform that reduced the office of president to a single nonrenewable term, ‘to further concentrate powers in the hands of the secretary general:

– To assist the confederal bodies in defining and implementing union and general policy lines,

– Plan, direct, and coordinate the activities of the areas,

– Exercise, by proposing its articulation, the power of direction and supervision over territorial structures, to implement the resolutions of the confederal bodies,

– To carry out the coordination and guidance function for national and territorial structures. In fact, the president, elected only once, is left with the mere task of spokesperson.’ (7)

Germina Campus SpA, the holding company

From the ashes of Federconsorzi, Germina Campus SpA has taken over (at a vile price) the historic Palazzo Rospigliosi headquarters to revamp its modus operandi. Raking together the public and private resources of Italian farmers through a holding company headed by several service companies. Insurance and finance, food trade, telephone contracts, etc. Only the funeral home is missing (for the time being). Some hints to follow.

Green Assicurazioni Srl is almost exclusively owned by GerCam (96.2 percent). Councilors, Vincenzo Gesmundo and Raffaele Grandolini. A broker who in fact acts as an insurance agency to sell farmers policies with triple brokerage (of the ‘broker‘, the ‘reinsurer’ and the Agrifides agency, also of Coldiretti) and prices far higher than market prices, (8)

Bluarancio SpA (98.7 percent of shares held by Germina Campus). AD Raffaele Grandolini. It is the second largest IT company in the Coldiretti galaxy. Buys software and hardware from Enteus Srl (of Coldiretti) to resell to the Sistema Servizi Consortium (of Coldiretti itself),

Tellus Editions Ltd. The company that owns the brand name ‘Impresa Verde Coldiretti’-from which sprang a swarm of S.r.l.’s that dominate the farm services market in every Province of the Bel Paese-has been incorporated by Ger.Cam. 2016,

Agritel Srl, AGER Srl and Filiera Agricola Italiana (FAI) SpAs in turn deserve further study. The ABCs of conflicts of interest.

A) AGRITEL S.r.l. Speculation on telephone utilities

Agritel Ltd. – sole shareholder Germina Campus, president Raffaele Grandolini – operates as an agent and reseller for TIM S.p.A. It purchases services (prepaid cards, voice and data traffic, PEC) and products (smartphone e tablet) of Telecom Italia, earning modest commissions to which are added the margins on increased prices, in the forced resale to the so-called ‘Coldiretti Network’ (composed of the three categories of employees, collaborators and partners), through the license ‘community‘.

In fact, the directors of Coldiretti and Impresa Verde offices in the territory must refer exclusively to the ‘Coldiretti phone company’. Also for:

– sign contracts for farmer members who hold social offices-(section and area presidents, zone presidents, provincial and regional councilors, Federation presidents, etc.),

– Induce/oblige all employees and contractors to do the same. Prices and fees are inflated, obviously out of market, to fatten Palace dividends,

– Propose to all farmers registered with the Chambers of Commerce the PECs that Agritel buys at market prices (by customizing the Aruba domain) and resells at margin, at Palace prices.

Agritel, Coldiretti and the Member Portal

In essence, Agritel functions as the Consorzio Sistema Servizi Coldiretti SCpA, with a maelstrom of invoicing from outside suppliers and re-invoicing to the Coldiretti Territorial Network at inflated prices to feed the bottomless pit of the Palazzo Rospigliosi magic circle.
An anecdote applies to express the extent of the autarkic self-referentiality of the leader of leaders and his loyalists.

Samsung joined the network of sponsors of the 2019 Cernobbio Agriculture Forum. And he obtained from Coldiretti, as a quid pro quo, the planning of telephone equipment purchases. So it was that 2 thousand (!!) obsolete tablets were purchased, for the infamous ‘The Member’s Portal’ project. None of the partners were interested in joining the failed project, moreover, so the Palace forced Green Enterprises to gobble up the obsolete redundant tablets.

B) AGER S.r.l., the ‘party school’

AGER S.r.l. – of which Germina Campus SpA holds 95 percent of the shares, Coldiretti national the remaining 5 percent – is the so-called ‘training company’, or ‘party school’. Established in 1997, it is now chaired by Gianluca Lelli, head of Coldiretti’s Economic Area as well as CEO of CAI SpA aka Federconsorzi 2. (9) CEOs the ubiquitous Raffaele Grandolini and Sara Paraluppi, director of Coldiretti Lazio. According to rumors, Gianluca Lelli wanted to drown it and dilute it in AgriConsulting S.r.l., an emanation company of the competing agricultural union Confagricoltura.

However, the project failed miserably, as did the other project entrusted to the miserable care of Gianluca Lelli, CAI SpA aka Federconsorzi 2. Following the defections of several Consorzi Agrari, such as those of Umbria (despite pressure from its president Albino Agabiti, also head of AsnaCodi, the national association of Defense Consortia. See footnote 10), of Terrepadane, (11) of Cremona, of the Northeast, etc.

AGER S.r.l., UNAPROL and AGEA.

The profit and loss accounts of Palace companies, even in the case of AGER S.r.l., do not add up with the lavish emoluments of corporate officers. Thus AGER S.r.l., for the past decade or so, has been issuing large invoices to Unaprol ScpA, the Italian Olive Consortium. (12) In consideration for a project on oil quality funded by AGEA (Agenzia Generale per le Erogazioni in Agricoltura). Two crucial figures emerge in this case:

Gabriele Papa Pagliardini, director general of AGEA and former business associate of the magic circle, (13) unblinkingly tests Unaprol’s accounts. Which thus, through AGER, fills Coldiretti’s coffers with public money instead intended for olive growers,

David Granieri, president and legal representative of Unaprol (‘client’ of AGER), is at the same time vice-president of the National Confederation Coldiretti (owner of AGER, through Germina Campus and in its own right).

Yet another conflict of interest has escaped both AGEA Coldiretta and the board of auditors of Unaprol SCpA chaired by Prof. Lawyer Antonio Cepparulo. Who, combination, is among other mayors of CAA (Agricultural Assistance Center) Coldiretti Srl, CAF (Tax Assistance Center) Coldiretti Srl and Elaion Srl. But also former chairman of the board of auditors of that AgriRevi founded by, among others, AGEA director general Gabriele Papa Pagliardini. (11)

C) FILIERA AGRICOLA ITALIANA S.p.A. The Palace Triangle


Dulcis in fundo
, Germina Campus SpA is the first shareholder of Filiera Agricola Italiana (FAI) SpA, tied (44%) with SCCA p.a. (Società Consortile dei Consorzi Agrari per azioni, founder of CAI SpA. Minority shareholder the Consorzio dei Produttori di Campagna Amica SCpA).
Ettore Prandini is its president, Raffaele Grandolini its managing director, alongside Federico Vecchioni (director as well as managing director of CAI SpA) and Sara Paraluppi (director of Coldiretti Lazio). Filiera Agricola Italiana SpA has some anomalies that obviously no one has noted so far. The corporate object is indeed ‘marketing of agricultural and agri-food products‘. Yet.

Triangulation on paper is the core business of Filiera Agricola Italiana SpA, which ‘intermediates’ the invoices of the Consorzi Agrari on the sales of their commodities – wheat for pasta and fruit and vegetables above all, oil to a lesser extent – to the food industry and the large-scale retail trade (e.g., the Conad, Coop, LIDL, Esselunga, etc.). That is to say:

– Agricultural Consortia, which have always sold and continue to sell their commodities to their customers, are now being gerrymandered by FAI SpA,

– goods are transported with their DDT from the Agricultural Consortia to industry and/or the large-scale retail trade, while sales invoices travel from the Agricultural Consortia to FAI SpA, which then re-invoices to their customers.

Filiera Agricola Italiana SpA, conflicts of interest and financial bubble

Filiera Agricola Italiana SpA is thus yet another emblem of conflicts of interest. The general managers of the Agricultural Consortia (employees of SCCA p.a.) have agreed to a triangulation ‘on paper’ of their goods in favor of a third party, CAI SpA (in which SCCA p.a. is a majority shareholder), which, among other things, lacks logistics facilities. A gestapo to the Agricultural Consortia devoid of any economic significance. Will their Boards and partners be aware of this?

The turnover of FAI SpA is also phenomenal. Although its margin on paper triangulations is around 1 to 2 percent, Filiera Agricola Italiana receives and reissues invoices for the full amount of goods sold by Agricultural Consortia. Thus exposing revenues of over €30,000,000 (thirty million euros), instead of reporting at most €5-600,000 in ‘commissions’.

#CleanSpades

The new ‘masters’ of Coldiretti have added, alongside the rulers and representatives of economic power, other parties to make fun of: farmer presidents, promoted and dismissed at will, using taxpayers’ money. Associates then flock in captivated by a dream that the new ‘leaders’ know how to induce with the rhetoric of peasant protagonism.’ (7)

Behind the appearance of a ‘union’ there is only a self-referential power system, with its business committees and objectives quite different, as it turns out, from the needs and expectations of Italian farmers. Who seem resigned to being subjected to malfeasance and gabelle in every activity that affects them, until the institutions called to answer to the Italian Constitution and the law begin to exercise their duties to supervise, denounce, investigate and sanction wrongdoing and harassment.

#SpadeClean, when?

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) Dario Dongo. Fake news in the food industry, the quibus. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 8.10.18, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/fake-news-nel-settore-alimentare-il-quibus

(2) Dario Dongo. Dealcolated wine and CMO reform, some clarity. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 5/21/21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/vino-dealcolato-e-riforma-dell-ocm-un-po-di-chiarezza

(3) Dario Dongo. Consorzi Agrari d’Italia SpA, Federconsorzi 2? The Poison Dossier. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 1.1.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/consorzi-agrari-d-italia-spa-federconsorzi-2-il-dossier-dei-veleni

(4) Dario Dongo. Federconsorzi 2, AgriRevi, AIPO (Unaprol). Golden business for Coldiretti’s magic circle. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 3.6.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/vino-dealcolato-e-riforma-dell-ocm-un-po-di-chiarezza

(5) Antonio Saltini. Coldiretti, congruencies, coincidences, correspondences. Agrarian Science. 8/20/18, https://www.agrariansciences.it/2018/08/coldiretti-congruenze-coincidenze.html?m=1

(6) Emiliano Fittipaldi. Farmer and millionaire: record salary for Coldiretti secretary general. The Express. 1/29/15, https://espresso.repubblica.it/plus/articoli/2015/01/29/news/contadino-e-milionario-stipendio-record-per-il-segretario-coldiretti-1.196726?preview=true

(7) Alfonso Pascale. From Bonomi to King Traveller. Coldiretti’s anthropological mutation. Agrarian Science. 2/24/15, https://www.agrariansciences.it/2015/02/da-bonomi-re-travicello-la-mutazione.html?m=1

(8) Dario Dongo. Subsidized insurance, Coldiretti’s business on the backs of farmers. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 5/13/21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/assicurazioni-agevolate-il-business-di-coldiretti-alle-spalle-degli-agricoltori

(9) Dario Dongo. Federconsorzi 2 aka CAI SpA, some clarity. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 3/15/21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/federconsorzi-2-alias-cai-spa-un-po-di-chiarezza

(10) Dario Dongo. Subsidized insurance in agriculture, the big business of Coldiretti’s magic circle. #CleanSpades. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 1.3.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/assicurazioni-agevolate-in-agricoltura-i-grandi-affari-del-cerchio-magico-di-coldiretti-vanghepulite

(11) Dario Dongo. Federconsorzi 2, AgriRevi, AIPO (Unaprol). Golden business for Coldiretti’s magic circle. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 3.6.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/federconsorzi-2-agrirevi-aipo-unaprol-affari-d-oro-per-il-cerchio-magico-di-coldiretti

(12) Dario Dongo. Coldiretti and Unaprol. The uncertain fate of public funds intended for Italian olive growers. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 6.2.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/coldiretti-e-unaprol-il-destino-incerto-di-fondi-pubblici-destinati-agli-olivicoltori-italiani

(13) Dario Dongo. AGEA – Coldiretti, European Commission rejects conflict of interest. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 3/24/21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/agea-coldiretti-la-commissione-europea-boccia-il-conflitto-d-interessi

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.