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  Editorial Issue 71, February 2009   
Quality Without FrontiersQuality Without Frontiers  Contents 
Issue 70, January 2009 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 72, March 2009

Quality Without Frontiers


 Maybe it is because of the economic crisis of these times, or maybe for reasons of chauvinism, in Italy is getting more and more common to strenuously defend and support local production, inviting consumers to prefer local products while avoiding foreign ones. The reasons used to convince consumers to prefer Italian products are many. Including the supposed superiority of Italian products over foreign ones, as if quality is a prerogative unique to Italy and in the other countries are produced inferior things only. The funny thing is that, according to the ones who suggest these behaviors, one should always prefer Italian products, not only for a silly chauvinist and patriotic spirit, but also because this is certainly and undoubtedly better. Who do Italian think they are in order to be convinced they are the only ones in the world capable of producing things of impeccable quality, in particular food?


 

 We should maybe make these persons remember in Italy not all the shiny things are made of gold and that in this country - just like any other country of the world, after all - have been discovered huge food frauds. It has in fact happened products of certified quality were made with low quality ingredients or - even worse - used despite they were not suited for eating. Moreover, there are cases of evident incongruity, products - and wines - which are ranked to the highest “legal” quality and that, when tasted, they can barely be defined as ordinary. However, according to the logic of some, these are products to be bought and consumed for the simple reason they are made in Italy. We think we must be clear about this: Italy is a country rich in food resources, absolutely unique and of high quality, products having no equals in the world. The same can be however and certainly be said for any other country: every place - as well as every person - has something unique, incomparable and unrepeatable to offer.

 This does not however mean “better”, because quality needs other factors in order to be expressed, last but not the least, honesty, culture and capacity of the one who makes it. In case the advice, proposed with arrogance, as if it was a sort of menace, must be followed in order to protect the economic interests of corporations, the temptation to buy and consume other products is very strong. Words are not enough to make quality, and it is not even enough the silly chauvinist spirit: it takes facts and not speculations, in particular economic and cultural ones. For what reason one should prefer a mediocre Italian product when one can get a better product coming from another country, and even sold at a more honest and accessible price? Only because it is Italian? We don't believe this is enough. Quality has no frontiers and no flags. Let's begin to reward the ones who behave in a serious and worthy way.

 Consumers have a huge power over producers, something which can be clearly expressed through purchase. In case a foreign product is better than the analogous Italian one, for what reason one should reward the producer who shows a lower capacity in offering quality? One should buy better products instead - provided prices are reasonable and appropriate - in order to reward the ones who truly deserve to be rewarded. The silly principle supporting the idea anything produced in a determined country is indisputably better, reveals - as a matter of fact - a huge cultural ignorance and an intellectual arrogance, supported by the hypocrite presumption of the ones who believe to be “better” because he or she does not know anything about what happens outside the borders of his or her tiny territory. Anyone is free to set the borders of his or her world, however no one can impose the same limits and his or her limited vision of the world to others.

 As every world is a world on its own, one should be sufficiently intelligent to understand there is nothing absolute and everything and “every world” has something to offer and from which one can learn from. Diversity is a great richness from which one always learns something. As there is nothing absolute, this is also true for quality. Everything has its own characteristics and qualities, therefore saying what is the best one is, after all, a simple and indisputable mater of opinion, taste and culture. As to make an example - one of the most common ones - it makes no sense to say Champagne is better than Franciacorta and vice versa. They are both excellent products: each one expressing its own unique qualities which are also the result of unrepeatable conditions exclusively found in their respective territories.

 What offends the most is when one tries to justify the lack of quality with matters of chauvinism and patriotism. Not only this offends the dignity and the intelligence of consumers by using disputable sentimental matters, this also offends producers who make real quality and for this reason they are not rewarded. If we consider the specific case of Italy, they first suggest consumers to prefer Italian products, therefore, when the message has been spread, every region begins to strenuously suggest consumers to buy its products, by saying they are better than the ones produced in other regions. The system continues with provinces, corporations and cities, down to the smallest part of territory: every one tries to make its own interests, every one tries to fortifies its own borders while avoiding dangerous invasions from the outside. Comparing and knowledge is a good way out for consumers who rightly try and understand products coming from other countries and cultures. And, at the end, they should reward the ones who are worth of trust by showing facts. Quality has no frontiers. And it has no flags, too.

 




   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 71, February 2009   
Quality Without FrontiersQuality Without Frontiers  Contents 
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