IdentikEat, transparency and storytelling on the label

0
45




‘Made in Italy




‘, everyone looks for it but few understand it

. The reason is simple, as it turns out, misleading labels and legislative confusion. While waiting for theEuropean citizens’ initiative #EatORIGINal!

find space in Brussels, an innovative solution is launched by an Apulian start-up,




IdentikEat




.


Origin

and values, opaque transparency




The origin




of the product and its raw materials, theintegrity of the supply chain



in its entire cycle – from primary agricultural production to final distribution – express the value of the economy



of a country.

Italy redounds of narrative and legend about food and gastronomy, but is at the same time incapable of effectively expressing values related to products. The writer has tried to offer some ideas, with the idea of an independent information site in 8 languages, but without gathering any significant following. Although almost all Italian industry players have portals in only one language, at most two.

Transparency on the label tends to be opaque, after all. Often due to the inability to bring value to a cohesive integrated supply chain model. Large producers of Italian PDO cheeses and cured meats, for example, prefer to save on raw materials and refer to GMO soybeans overseas, on farms, instead of domestic. Just as sly Italics package Canadian lentils that they disguise as Italian with suggestive brand names ‘


Italian sounding








.




In the widespread myopia of operators




, consumAtors rely on a swarm of varied news, rarely able to express the binomial ‘




origin + values


‘. Beyond those initiatives that truly complement the ‘supply chain‘, how the organic supply chain in the EU and quality animal husbandry in Italy (ex. Let’s Breed HealthOf Coop Italy, Italian Seal Consortiumof Italia Zootecnica).




It therefore appears necessary




to take stock of the



traceability

of the supply chain and on its actual and tangible values. Which must be demonstrated and communicated, with transparency and appropriate tools, to share with professional users and consumAtors the operator’s contribution to shared social values(CSV ,


Contributing to Social Values




).

Origin and values, the opportunities offered by technology

La blockchain is now presented as the great opportunity to ensure the traceabilityà Of material flows (raw materials and semi-finished products, consumables, products, packagingadditions). And so, the compliance of processes and products with respect to established criteria. Through a protocol that relies on the input of unchangeable data by the independent blocks participating in the network.

Prototypes of blockchain have been developed by global IT giants such as IBM and Cisco, but also by Italian start-ups such as the


CyberSecurity




of Bari

. In any case, these are complex systems that require significant investments, software adaptations to the peculiarities of individual supply chains, and involvement of all their participants. Very interesting projects but not affordable for everyone.




Innovation therefore extends





toward simpler systems


, which in turn can offer useful news about the origin, authenticity and values of products on the market. In turn, these systems are based on traceability-whose data is provided by operators, under the responsibilities stipulated in current regulations (1)-and news sharing with tools and methods ‘consumer-friendly‘. An early example of such an approach is



Authentico





, a simple App that allows consumers to verify the authenticity of Italian products by scanning the barcodes on their labels.


Connectivity

à

mobile and


smartphones

are the tools now most used by consumAtors to instantly gather news about products and services, compare quality and prices, check
feedback
Of other users. EBay led the way, soon followed by Amazon, then Trip Advisor, AirBnB and so on. Both market surveys and reviews, moreover, lend themselves to manipulation that can at least disappoint expectations.




The SMEs




that dot the Italian manufacturing landscape,



for that matter, are all but invisible on the Web, let alone able to get noticed on distribution platforms whose access costs are by no means negligible, in terms of abusive business practices

. As a result, when there is a willingness to invest something to try to emerge in the digital reality, the goal is rarely achieved.


IdentikEat
,
transparency and


storytelling


in

label


The IdentikEat project
addresses
primarily
to smallthe producers of great quality. That is, to those agricultural enterprises andlocally rooted foods that have values to express and tell, thanks to the 4.0 megaphone offered by this system, which can connect consumAtors to ethical supply chains with just a few gestures on the
smartphone
.


The idea

was born
by Enzo Notaristefano, a young Bocconi man with a background in the U.S. who decided to return to his homeland and look for ways to enhance the production of the organic farm of family, which is in a pleasant location but suffers from the stigma of the province to which it belongs, the Taranto now known in the news only for environmental pollution.

It is therefore necessary to tell enterprises with pictures and gestures, show work in the fields and factories, share. Also share concrete traceability data, which IdentikEat digitizes in the easiest way, from planting to finished product, from field notebooks to production batch records.

The transparent label IdentikEat therefore serves to distinguish between pasta and baked goods made from local wheat without the use of glyphosate in the fields, real mozzarella made from fresh milk versus mozzarella made from frozen curds arriving from Eastern Europe. As well as narrating experiences and labors, stories and territories. In short, there is a need to overcome that ‘information asymmetry’ that the strong powers use to maintain position, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.


In the first 6
months after its launch, the project was launched with the collaboration of 40 companies agribusiness, who found the courage to get involved, overcoming the difficulty of entering data on the platform instead of on the old registers, paper and otherwise. What is needed now would be the impetus of a retail chain willing to embrace IdentikEat-with no claim to exclusivity-to offer guarantees and storytelling on its own branded product lines dedicated to the Bel Paese.

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) Cf.reg. EC 178/02, consolidated text, Article 18. For an in-depth review of traceability requirements defined in European and national legislation, in relation to the generality of products and their individual categories, please refer to our free ebook ‘‘Food safety, mandatory rules and voluntary standards. ‘, at https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/libri/sicurezza-alimentare-regole-cogenti-e-norme-volontarie-il-nuovo-libro-di-dario-dongo