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Wine and Legality: A Survey to Know the Consumer Opinions on the Activities of Sicilian Wine Companies Operating on Lands Confiscated from the Mafia


In the European Union, since the mid-90s with the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) the term agriculture was joined to that of multifunctionality, as stated in the second pillar of the CAP, because the agricultural sector was placed in front of new challenges, attributing to the development policies of this sector a role of backbone for the economy of all rural areas with low capacity to achieve economic diversification. Actually, with the multifunctionality, the agricultural sector is no longer considered, only, the one which produces food goods, but also it has new and different functions, including those of preserving the environment and the rural landscape and to support the socio-economic development of rural areas, also through the creation of employment opportunities. In particular, among the different aspects provided by the multifunctional role of agriculture, the social function is the one that has spread and established itself more and more, especially in recent years in Sicily, where, as social, it means the ability of the farm to generate services to a population considered at risk of social exclusion. In this regard, all the initiatives for agricultural purposes that are pursued, mainly in the south of Italy and especially in Sicily, in those lands confiscated from organized crime (the so-called Mafia) are believed to be very interesting. In fact, just thanks to the Italian Law n.109/1996 it is permitted to particular legal entities (cooperatives, associations, non-profit, etc.) the use, with social purposes, of all the assets and properties confiscated from organized crime, among which there are included also the agricultural lands that, otherwise, would remain inevitably abandoned1. Instead, thanks to the application of this Law, these legal entities can exercise an agricultural activity aimed, in addition to food production regularly put on the market, also to offer employment in the agricultural sector. In this context, in Sicily, is well-known the activity of the social company (cooperative) "Placido Rizzotto - Libera Terra". It was founded in 2001 within the project "Libera Terra"2, promoted by the "Libera"3 and the Prefect of Palermo and, through a contract of loan for use, it got into management and now it cultivates over 150 hectares of land confiscated from the Mafia that fall in some municipalities of the Province of Palermo. Inspired by the principles of solidarity and legality, the Company Coperativa 1 Companies confiscated from organized crime are spread over the whole Italian territory, but with a strong concentration in Sicily. The 18% of the confiscated goods are farmland and the 6% of confiscated companies work in the agricultural sector and in particular in the production of wine (Source: National Agency of seized and confiscated). 2 Libera Terra: Free Land 3 "Libera. Associations, names and numbers against mafias" is an association of social promotion, recognized by the Ministry of the Interior, devoted to solicit and coordinate the civil society against all mafias and to foster the creation and the development of a community alternative to the mafia itself . It is a coordination, born in 1995, in order to urge the civil society in the fight against the mafia and currently consists of about 1,500 associations, groups, schools, grassroots groups, territorially committed to build synergies political-cultural and organizational able to promote a culture of legality. The law on the social use of property confiscated from the mafia (L. n.109/96), education for democratic legality, commitment against corruption, mafia training camps, projects at work and development, business wear, etc.., are some of the concrete commitments of this coordination. "Libera" is also recognized as a social promotion by the Ministry of Social Solidarity. In 2008 has been inserted Eurispes (Private Institute for Policy Studies, which operates in the economic and social policy resear