Remembering Secondo Tarditi

Readers of CAP Health Check will recall the death earlier this year of Secondo Tarditi, who was one of its founding members. Ulrich Koester of the University of Kiel in Germany, and a close friend and colleague of Secondo, has written an appreciation:

The international community of agricultural economists has lost a highly respected colleague. Secondo Tarditi lost the fight against his sudden illness. He passed away in Rome on June 14, 2007. Secondo had an outstanding career. He graduated at the Faculty of Agriculture, of the Catholic University Milano, Italy and got his first academic position as a Tenured Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Siena, Italy. In 1980 he was promoted to the position of Full Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy at the same faculty. He served his university in many fields. He was Director of the Interuniversity Centre on Agri-Food-Environmental (Centro Interdipartimentale di Politica Agro-alimentare-ambientale”) (ICAPS – CIPAS); he was Coordinator of the “European Master in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness in Siena (Universities of Aas, Aberdeen, Kiel, Reading, Rennes, Siena, Wageningen), he was Coordinator of the “Undergraduate Programme on European Studies”, Faculty of Economics, University of Siena and Coordinator of ERASMUS programmes with various European Universities.

Secondo Tarditi was a very mobile person, documented by his teaching positions at foreign universities and his broad intellectual performance. He spent one year as a Visiting Professor (1982-83) at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, lecturing in “Microeconomics” and “Applied Economic Topics”, two years (1986-1988) as a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Research Associate at International Development Centre, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, even four years (1988-1992) as a Visiting Professor in “Economic Analysis of the Common Agricultural Policy” at the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium, an another year (1993-1994) as a Senior Associate at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

Tarditi was well-known in political circles in Italy and in Brussels. He was one of the exceptional economists who was not just interested in staying in an ivory tower, but felt committed to serve the public at large. That is why he served in his capacity as a policy adviser on the national and European level. The Italian Government acknowledged his outstanding contributions by granting him the award ‘Grande Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana’.

I had many discussions with my friend Secondo and we had asked ourselves a couple of times whether we had actually contributed to a change in the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU. We agreed that the so-called Siena Memorandum was most likely a significant impetus for the reform of the CAP. Secondo had organised a meeting in Siena in 1983 where some of European agricultural economists had been invited to discuss the future of the CAP. The outcome was a nearly (no Irish, nor Dutch) unanimously signed agreement recommending significant reforms. Secondo had organized many further meetings in Siena and had opened the platform for a Union-wide and even world-wide economic policy discussions. These meetings also contributed to our mutual understanding and to a progress in our professional thinking. However, what remains the most are the hospitality and the warm and harmonious atmosphere Secondo was able to create together with his family. The profession lost a great agricultural economist and his friends lost much more, a warm and trusted friend.”

Ulrich Koester
University of Kiel, Germany

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