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New regional regulatory provisions for processing and packaging activities of agricultural products in Tuscany

The regulation provided by the legislation of Tuscany could be very relevant to SALSA.

The implementing regulation of this law aims at defining the structural and hygienic-sanitary requisites related to the processing, transformation and packaging of the agricultural products coming from the company and intended for on-farm tasting and for direct sales in local markets (belonging to the territory of the province where the company insists and in the territory of the neighbouring provinces). In order to foster and safeguard local small-scale agricultural productions consolidated by local traditions and typical of the Tuscany reality, the regional law allow farmers and farms to work, transform and package products, exclusively of their own production, directly at home or in the premises of the farm or in a special multipurpose room. The recipients of the interventions envisaged by this law are: agricultural entrepreneurs, direct farmers, agricultural cooperatives that exclusively use the force labour of their working members.

In compliance with the European regulations which establish the general principles and requirements of food law (178/2002, 852/2004 and 853/2004, etc) and with the principle established by the "food hygiene package", according to which the responsibility for food safety primarily depends on the operator, the Tuscan Regional Council issued the guidelines for the procedures for carrying out self-monitoring.

The law provides that:

- it is allowed the activity of processing and packaging of agricultural products exclusively produced on farm;

- non-farm products traditionally used for preservation purposes allowed by the law are: salt, sugar, oil, vinegar and similar.

- the activities of producing, processing and packaging of the products can be carried out at the premises of the firm or at the owner’s place, provided they have the hygienic-sanitary characteristics prescribed by the EC regulations, provided that the processes and transformations take place in a distinct manner from the domestic use of the premises;

- the different processing phases of the products can be operated in the same room (special multipurpose structure), provided the existence of the following conditions: a) the activities are carried out at different times and interspersed with cleaning and disinfection operations, in order to avoid food hazards, with particular reference to cross-contamination between foods with different microbiological profiles; b) the timing and methods of separation are accurately described in the self-control plan referred to (EC regulations  852/2004).

- anyone who does not comply with the structural and hygienic-sanitary requisites of the premises is subject to the administrative sanction of the payment of a sum from € 500.00 to € 3.000.00.



Thanks for sharing, Lucia! Do you know what was behind this new regulation? Why did the region decided on this, in response to some problems raised? Were there some consultations with small holders? How will the regulation improve their situation? What will be different?