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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

The Myth of Agromafie: Involvements of Mafia-Type Groups in the Italian Food Sector

Organised Crime
Alice Rizzuti
University of Essex
Alice Rizzuti
University of Essex

Despite the increasing media attention, criminological research towards food crime - harmful and criminal activities perpetrated along the food supply chain - has so far been very little. In Italy, media, NGOs and business associations have labelled food crime as ‘agromafie’. This term broadly refers to illicit phenomena and criminal associations, especially mafia-type, which are considered to be active in the food market. Based on official reports and documents from Italian public authorities and on fourteen in depth interviews with prosecutors, public officers and members of police forces, this paper seeks to dispel the myth of widespread mafia involvement in the Italian food supply chain. Instead, this paper argues that mafia groups are involved in indirect ways in order to facilitate other criminal activities such as the use of food containers for drug trafficking or the management of restaurants and food businesses to launder money.

Keywords: agromafie, food crime, food supply chain

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