AIDs, regulated by a European standard from 2004, are almost unknown in Italy, but those who have opened them are enthusiastic. Pack and sell food products directly from your own kitchen. There is only one thing worse than bureaucracy when you want to be an entrepreneur in Italy, having the weapons available to fight it and not knowing it. This often happens, and in the agri-food universe, tortured as it is by regulations split up by region and a thousand overlapping competences, it happens even more. That is why, when help in this direction emerges from the mist, it is the duty of everyone – including newspapers – to speak about it and ensure its widest distribution. Here we are going to try to do it with the IADs, a small-big revolution that has been around for some time and that, look at it, very few have talked about.
But what is an IAD? IAD stands for “Domestic Food Company” and is the regulatory vehicle that allows you to produce preparations at home, using everyday cooking, without having to modify the intended use, without having to open new and expensive utilities for electricity or gas, without having to pay the rent of a laboratory. Of course, having all the limitations in terms of space and machinery that a normal home can have, but still being able to handle, produce, label and sell (not retail) food directly in your residence. Open an official business to do so and get out of the dark and overwhelmed.
A possibility that has existed for twenty years. If it seems impossible to you that you can produce cakes and biscuits, egg noodles and preserves directly at home and then resell them to individuals or restaurants, it will seem even more bizarre to you to know that this opportunity has existed for 2004: almost twenty years. During all this time, little or nothing has been done to really put in place this tool which represents a very sharp weapon against bureaucracy and a bulwark with enormous potential for new entrepreneurship and the fight against illegal activities. “Even the name IAD”, as the association IAD Italia founded in 2017 explains, “we kind of invented it, for convenience, because there is still no standard in Italy that regulates this sector” . But if there is no standard, how is it possible that the opening of home production workshops is authorized? It’s under a higher standard, a European standard. It’s the EC Regulation 852 of 2004 which gives the green light to this kind of domestic micro-productions by subjecting them to a few simple hygiene requirements.
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The parliament it was careful not to legislate, despite the potential of the sector or perhaps precisely because of the potential of the sector given the many lobbies wishing to keep everything as it is. With the exception of some regions that do not prevent the birth of this type of micro-enterprise, in other regions of Italy, on the other hand, opening a domestic food business means running up against the rubber wall of executives and officials who, out of sheer laziness and to avoid trouble, are filibustering. “We opened the association because there was no benchmark,” the president of IAD Italia tells ilGusto Patrizia Politowho gives us some figures: “To date we have opened around 300 IADs, 98% are opened by women and these are women with children of school age, who may have lost their jobs and are re-entering the market. with a new micro-Enterprise”.
But it really is a new entrepreneurship, is it really the emergence of the submerged or is it just unfair competition towards those who had to open a structured laboratory by paying rents and charges? “No unfair competition” answers Polito “a domestic kitchen will never be able to compete with an artisanal laboratory. Moreover, it takes many IADs precisely to get there, you do a few years of testing, you develop your project and your product and then you open a ‘real’ laboratory, that’s why IADs can be a driving force for a new entrepreneurship”. These days, the IAD Italia association is committed to convincing more and more Italian regions to make possible the opening of these businesses: “We are working hard with Lombardy, where in the absence of a regional rule, the municipalities are blocking all requests, citing town planning problems and asking civilian dwellings to change their destination to laboratories, contrary to the spirit of the European regulation”.
SAI, the absence of law. In short, in the country that rightly lives from the “homemade” narrative and where many artisanal productions float underground, how important it could be to bring out, regulate and legalize the lady who produces the orecchiette in Bari Vecchia or the family that bakes carasau bread in Barbagia by passing it through large ovens? How many tens (hundreds?) of thousands of new businesses could arise if this opportunity were encouraged and not hindered or hidden? “It’s a job that a lot of women are already doing to use their kitchens to produce food and sell it, maybe they’re doing it black. IADs are a way to finally make it a legal thing. fiscal and health point of view. And then” she adds. Lia Quartapellea parliamentarian who has spent a lot of money on this issue “The IAD can represent a step towards the creation of a real business, thus creating a new entrepreneurship. » Quartapelle concludes « it is an instrument still little known, even opposed in certain regions. working to make it easier and easier”.
The examples. “The regions that have managed to approve measures that help this type of business are above all Puglia, Veneto and Abruzzo”, explained Patrizia Polito. But in reality Sardinia is not left out. Confirmation comes from Veronique Matta, food anthropologist and president of the Sa Mata L’Albero delle Idee association, created to promote Sardinian ticipi products. “Many typical products exist, they are codified” explains Matta “but they are not really produced because perhaps these are processes that were traditionally done at home. We therefore find ourselves in the paradox of having protected products in theory but very few VAT numbers that produce them in practice”. Also because perhaps most of the micro-producers of this specific recipe make it black, without declaring anything and therefore sell it. Here is an ideal scenario where DAIs could spark new entrepreneurial spirits and boost output, GDP and jobs. “That’s why with the ‘Fatu in Domo’ project we focused on creating a network of home food laboratories and this gave birth to a network of micro-enterprises in the name of inclusion and of synergy. Great happiness of the Local Health authorities and new worthwhile entrepreneurial realities are created with many related activities “.
It is in this context that Cum Pà was born in the summer of 2022. It is the last IAD dedicated to Sardinian bread and its creator is that Enrico Cirilli that more than once in recent years we have found in the ovens that have made the revolution white art in Italy: “Gregorio di Agostini himself, a friend-colleague I met at the Forno Brisa in Bologna”, says Cirilli”, he showed me this possibility. This is how I discovered the work of Veronica Matta and her association. In a few months, I managed to open my home laboratory”. How is it going after the first few months? “I already deliver to restaurants, hotels and a few individuals who order bread from me. Today I produce in the kitchen every day, from midnight when I produce the kitchen, it must be free from other occupants and it cannot be a kitchenette in an open space, it must be a closed kitchen . After the summer I will settle down to bake bread a few times a day and then there will be internships”. Enrico Cirilli, having traveled Italy and the world working in important and influential bakeries, is the right no one to point out IAD’s strengths and weaknesses: “I’m starting to reimburse expenses, because even opening a national food business there are expenses. How are things going? Perhaps it’s premature to say.” One thing is certain”, concludes Enrico, “after so much wandering it was a dream for me to try to offer my bread in my land. And to network with the artisans of Sardinia. I was given the tool to try it fully”.