Ghetti, broker e imperi del cibo. La filiera agro-industriale del pomodoro nel Sud Italia/Ghettos, brokers and food Empires. The tomato agri- food in Southern Italy

Domenico Perrotta


Italy is by far the most important producer of processed tomato in Europe. The agricultural production is based mainly in the regions of Puglia and Basilicata in Southern Italy and Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy. In the South, the living and working conditions of manual tomato harvesters, mainly migrant laborers, are among the most precarious. This article contends that, with the aim of understanding the conditions of migrant workers, the whole agro-food supply chain has to be analyzed.

After a review of the academic debate on the agro-food production and distribution and a description of the history and geography of this supply chain in Southern Italy, two topics are addressed: firstly, the relationships of mistrust among farmers, organization of agricultural producers and processing plants in Puglia, Basilicata and Campania regions; secondly, the role of big retailers. The analysis is based on seventy in-depth interviews with farmworkers, farmers, labour contractors, cannery workers and managers, agronomists, trade union officials and institutional actors, conducted between 2010 and 2014.



Industrial Tomato; Food Regime; Southern Question; Ethnography; Migrant Labour

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Registrazione presso il Tribunale di Napoli n. 37 del 05/07/2012