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Made in Italy agri-food, the extra gear is blockchain

Made in Italy agri-food, the extra gear is blockchain

Big brands such as Barilla, Perugina and Gruppo Italiano Vini, alongside distribution giants such as Carrefour and Coop, have already started important experiments in the field, but even the small realities of quality Italian agri-food are not watching. We are talking about blockchain, which is more and more a candidate every day to be the near future of traceability and protection of Made in Italy. This is due to the untouchable guarantee represented by the digital systems that underlie its and thanks to the ease of access and consultation (smartness) of the data collected in it.


How blockchain works

In essence, the technology in question produces a distributed, collective and shared database, protected by encryption, which collects permanently available and non-erasable information, through which it is always possible to reconstruct and track transactions. A real revolution for traceability on the label, which can give an account of the history of a product, the materials that make it up and the processes that have generated it, relying on to a blocked computer protocol, which prevents the deletion or tampering of data and promotes their verifiability, without a centralized authority.


The Italian way to Blockchain

The mechanism thus guarantees absolute transparency, having proved to be the best solution against any counterfeiting, first of all, in the agri-food sector, that known asthe phenomenon of Italian sounding. With this in mind, at the end of 2019 the Ministry of Economic Development launched a pilot project in partnership with IBM, called “The Blockchain for traceability of Made inItaly”. The experimentation concerns the textile supply chain, but will soon be extended to other sectors (including agri-food), ambing to become a paradigm for other EU countries.

Minister Roberto Patuanelli, in fact, assured that Italy is working “at European level within the European Blockchain Partnership in order to export the Italian model of protection of production chains throughemerging technologies”, cultivating the reasonable aspiration “that in this area our country can play a leading role at Community level”.

The need for an all-Italian route to Blockchain is also desired by Enrico Cereda, president and CEO of IBM Italia. “The opening up to competition of global markets – underlines the manager – puts the Made in Italy brand in the condition of having to ensure maximum transparency and traceability. The use of Blockchain is the innovation that can allow our companies to guarantee their products, differentiating them in terms of quality and sustainability. This will allow consumers to choose with the utmost awareness, ensuring that companies have an important return in terms of trust.”


The Caffè San Domenico case

But in addition to big players and government, even small private companies are looking ahead, getting busy today. Like the Piedmontese Caffè San Domenico, one of the 25 most renowned roasters in Italy and Slow Food presidium, also by virtue of the use of Blockchain technology, which has made it the first completely transparent and traceable coffee supply chain. A goal that is difficult to achieve by traditional methods.

Thanks to Bockchain, the provenance and authenticity of the 12 producers of the Slow Food presidium (each bag of raw product is assigned an international code), through the use of a unique identifier on the package, which allows the consumer to discover the history and the long journey of coffee, from plantations to cups, passing through the San Domenico roasting.