Italian criminal organizations earned 16 billion EUR in 2015 from illegal activities in agricultural sector

olive oilItalian criminal organizations have gained about 16 billion EUR in 2015 from illegal activities in the agricultural sector. The Italian police bust criminal group that exported poor quality and old olive oil to USA, which was presented as extra virgin. They arrested 12 people linked to the Mafia Ndrangheta in Calabria.

The criminal group delivered a cheap olive oil from pomace to the US market. There, the product was labeled as extra virgin again, valued for its taste and health benefits. Then the product was shipped in large stores in New Jersey. Olive pomace oil worth one-tenth of the price of extra virgin olive oil, which is sold at about 10 EUR per liter, said the Association of olive growers.

Besides counterfeit products, the criminal organization make money and control the companies and farms for price fixing, control of distribution and exploitation of labor. In 2015, criminal organizations have forced more than 100,000 Italians and migrants to work long hours for little money in the field, according to the Italian Confederation of Trade Unions of workers.

In the pattern of oil no evidence of exploitation of labor, but it found that at least 10 tons of low quality olive oil was delivered from Italy to the United States, in some cases the product was expired date.