They came from up and down Italy, setting up their protest headquarters just a few dozen cobblestone steps from the Italian parliament in Rome.
Their beef? Canadian food products flooding the Italian market.
"Canadian Parmesan Ruins the Reputation of Made in Italy," read one sign in Wednesday's protest.
"No Meat with Hormones from Canada," read another.
The biggest and most ubiquitous sign:
"We Don't Want Canadian Wheat with Glyphosate."
"We're concerned about health, because Canada uses chemicals that are banned in Europe," said Patrizia Puppo, a farmer from the northern Italian region of Friuli. "And also about the big size of Canadian farms. Italy has small ones, with high productivity, but it's hard to compete."
[flour and pasta producers] say the labelling request is a blatant marketing manoeuvre to influence consumers to buy Italian.
"It's a protectionist move that goes against free-trade principals of the EU," says [Cosimo] De Sortis, [president of Italmopa, Italy's association of flour millers]. "But above all, it's a risk of creating a disincentive for Italian producers to produce quality pasta."
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Italy's farmers 'demonizing' Canadian wheat in bid to protect domestic industry