There is no good reason for the explosive rise in the cost of pasta, farmers association Coldiretti has said. The Italian treasury announced on 20 August that pasta prices rose by 30 per cent in the first six months of 2008, a sharp increase second only to that of diesel, which rose almost 32 per cent. But the treasury also said that the price of durum wheat, the key ingredient in pasta, had dropped by 25 per cent. Coldiretti said the difference in price from the farm to the table was some 370 per cent.

The association said there were also huge discrepancies in the cost of bread (1,352 per cent), the price of which has risen by 13.2 per cent. Coldiretti said it was preparing an emergency rescue plan to present to the government in the next few months, which will involve producers, industrialists and farmers