Gianni Cantele in AFP story on Pierce’s Disease crisis in Puglia

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Above: Last week, this image appeared in a Getty Images photo essay on the Pierce’s Disease crisis in Puglia. Images from the photo essay were published together with a story by the French-language news agency AFP in which Gianni is quoted at length.

Not only is Gianni Cantele (above) a grape grower and winemaker. He’s also the president of the Puglia office of Coldiretti, the Italian confederation of food and wine growers.

As the Puglia Coldiretti president, he also advocates and lobbies for Pugliese olive growers, whose livelihood has been threatened by the ongoing Pierce’s Disease (Xylella fastidiosa) crisis.

Last week he was interviewed by AFP journalist Laure Brumont for a story on the outbreak:

Coldiretti’s Gianni Cantele warns that the disease could spread across olive growing areas across the northern Mediterranean with cases of xylella having already been detected on the island of Corsica and in southeastern France.

“The problem is that once xylella gets a foothold in an environment, it is very difficult to eradicate,” he said. That’s why, he explains, replanting in contaminated areas is currently banned.

Cantele said he was hopeful a compromise could be agreed with the European Commission under which older trees would be reprieved, younger diseased ones culled and producers authorised to replant.

Click here to read the complete report: “Growers despair as disease ravages timeless olive groves of southern Italy.”

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