Rome, 6 December 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Italy’s far-right opposition leader Matteo Salvini says he will boycott Nutella because its ingredients are not 100-per-cent Italian.
“I changed because I discovered that Nutella uses Turkish hazelnuts and I prefer to help companies that use Italian products,” Salvini said at a rally late on Thursday.
“I’d rather eat Italian if I can help it and help Italian farmers,” he added.
Salvini, 46, likes to publicize his eating habits as part of his social media strategy, and Nutella has often featured among the pictures of food on his Twitter and Facebook pages.
But he also leads a nationalist party, the League, which uses the motto “Italians first” – and which is leading in opinion polls, with around 32 per cent.
Nutella maker Ferrero is the world’s biggest buyer of hazelnuts. Italian hazelnut production cannot solely sustain its needs for Nutella manufacturing.
Similarly, Italian pasta makers do not all use Italian wheat, because Italy does not produce enough of it.
Turkey accounts for 70 per cent of the world’s hazelnut production, followed by Italy with nearly 20 per cent, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Some media, including The New York Times, have reported that the hazelnut industry in Turkey has a serious problem with child labour and workers’ exploitation, often at the expense of Syrian refugees.