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Italy’s wine production fell 17% in 2023

In 2023, Italian wine, fruit and olive oil all took a hit from extreme weather events, with wine production among the worst impacted, a new report by the national statistics bureau shows.

Europe’s hottest summer in 2,000 years (2023) caused agricultural output in Italy to drop significantly in the last 12 months.

Italian farms recorded a 3.9% yearly drop in production during 2023 with vines, fruits and olives down 11.1% in volume, said a statement issued by the national statistics bureau.

Overall wine production in Italy fell by 17% as the soaring temperatures stretched well into autumn 2023. Hail storms also wreaked havoc in many Italian vineyards.

“The year’s trends were affected by adverse weather conditions at different times of the year, with a succession of extreme events affecting many crops of primary importance,” the statement said.

In 2024 the south of Italy, as well as the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, have seen severe drought which is killing crops and livestock, agricultural organisation Coldiretti said last week.

This week, Italy was one of six countries to vote against an EU policy that would require members to restore nature on a fifth of their land and sea by 2030. The policy aims to reverse the decline of Europe’s natural habitats, 81% of which are classed as being in “poor health”, and could have a significant impact on vineyards and farming land.

Finland, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and The Netherlands all also voted against the policy, with some questioning how the proposed restoration would be funded, and by whom.

Critics also see the law as evidence of green “over-regulation”. Sweden believes the EU is overstepping by trying to regulate how countries manage their forests, while Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk opposed the bill to appease angry farmers. Hungary argued that the EU is setting “irrational targets”.

However, the legislation was passed on Monday 17 June, 2024, as 27 countries voted in its favour.

So what happens now?

Legally binding targets and obligations will now be set for nature restoration in a variety of ecosystems. Member states must submit national restoration plans to the commission, and a review of the implementation of the law and its effects is slated for 2033.

It will “help the EU to fulfil its international environmental commitments, and to restore European nature,” the European Council said in a statement.

According to a Savanta survey, 85% of Italian citizens are in support of the Nature Restoration law, despite their government’s objection.


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