Florence is about to become a lot more Italian. A recently signed agreement requires that 70 percent of all produce and products used and sold by new business be locally sourced.
According to mayor Dario Nardiella, the city is losing its essential Italian character. “Deregulation by previous governments has removed controls on what food products can be sold, which has led to a distortion of the center’s food culture,” he told La Repubblica. “One restaurant opens every week in the historic centre. Mass-produced foods are replacing our traditional trattorias and historic food shops: we have to put an end to it.”
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The agreement specifically focuses on the inclusion of products like Chianti, pecorino cheese, Sorana beans and Garfagnana spelt. And the ruling doesn’t only affect new businesses. Shops that are currently operational have three years to ensure that their stock is compliant with the law. Extant restaurants, though, are exempt.
While other Italian cities are already rumored to be considering similar rules, there are those who think the policy is too strict. Oscar Farinetti, the founder of Eataly, told La Repubblica, “It’s sensible for regions to protect their biodiversity but 70 percent might be a bit too high.”
[h/t The Local]