An Italian delegation of government and industry officials collected signatures by 137 of the 391 members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday in favor of mandatory labels of origin on imports of footwear, clothing and other types of consumer products. The lobbying effort will continue in order to draw up a petition by the parliament to the European Council to pass the measure, which has been stalled in the European Commission because a majority of governments are opposed.

Last July UNIC and ANAC, two Italian associations representing manufacturers of leather and shoe components and accessories, joined FIAMP, the federation that groups other associations of fashion accessories including ANCI, the Italian shoe industry association. Run by Rossano Soldini, former president of ANCI, and representing now 34,000 firms with 276,000 persons and annual sales of €10.6 billion, FIAMP will thus have a stronger voice in its lobbying efforts, including the fight for mandatory labels of origin.

The issue is gaining increasing relevance in Italy. Mario Boselli, a well-known personality of the fashion world who runs the Italian Fashion Chamber, proposed in a recent interview in Corriere della Sera that consumers should go on a "shopping strike," avoiding the purchase of any products that don’t carry an origin label. The Italian Fashion Chamber is not connected with FIAMP.