More confidence in the organic sector?
An example of supply chain integrity from Italy.
When it says organic on the outside, it should be organic on the inside too. However, in the past years, the Italian organic grain sector was facing considerable problems with fraud and manipulation. Producers know that transparency, consumer confidence and compliance with regulations and brand promises are factors that can determine success or failure in the food sector and especially when it comes to organic products because consumers want products they can trust. A current example shows that Italy’s organic sector is determined to win back people’s confidence in its products. For this purpose, they have introduced the Federbio Integrity Platform.
In the past years, Italy’s organic sector was facing considerable problems with false certificates and other cases of criminal fraud. The established control system relying on inspections and certificates could not prevent these cases of fraud, and only solved them with considerable delay. Approximately three years ago, Federbio, the sectoral association of the organic market in Italy, started to develop the Federbio Integrity Platform (FIP) in cooperation with Intact to enhance both the transparency and the safety on the organic grain market. The goal of Federbio and FIP was to enhance the integrity of organic products by increasing the transparency on the market and monitoring the flow of goods.
Challenges and proposed solution
With the large number of different systems used it was no longer possible to have all relevant certification data at hand in real-time and in one system. Another problem was the large number of parties involved, which rendered volume control impossible as well. Additionally, the coordination between all the different parties involved in a certification process was extremely difficult.
The idea was to reduce the number of systems, so that all inspection and certification bodies use only one database and one monitoring system: the new FIP, which was developed by Federbio and Intact.
FIP – how it works
The first measure was to make all relevant certification data available to the certification bodies in real time and in one system. In the next step, the experts concentrated all their efforts on creating the basis for controlling volumes throughout the entire value chain. Furthermore, it was necessary to facilitate coordination between all the parties involved in a certification process. For this purpose, transaction data from all dealers are transferred to the FIP. In the future, all certification data and all data related to the quantity flow will be brought together on the FIP. Linking all this data will make it possible to perform real-time monitoring and regular plausibility checks, thus establishing an additional monitoring level that complements the existing inspection system.
What is the benefit of all this? The FIP helps to reduce and prevent new cases of fraud and enables certification bodies to react quickly in case of any deviations. Additionally, the platform shall help to improve the image of the organic sector in Italy and enhance consumers’ confidence in the integrity of its products.
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