- Press release
, François-Xavier Branthôme
Promoting traceability and fighting against illegal employment
On 1 October, the ANICAV, the Italian National Association of Fruit and Vegetable Canning, and EZ Lab sr, an innovative SME specializing in advanced digital solutions for the intelligent agrifood sector, announced that they had launched an experimental project called "Tomato Blockchain". Using blockchain technology, this project aims to develop the production of quality tomatoes, guaranteeing their origin, their health characteristics and the social values of the operators involved. These can then be communicated to final consumers thanks to certified controls at all stages of production and processing.
The project will be launched with the involvement of two pilot companies associated with the ANICAV, one in the northern region, Rodolfi Mansueto Spa, and the other in the south-central region, Compagnia Mercantile d'Oltremare Srl. It will potentially involve several Producers' Organizations.
EZ Lab has developed several Blockchain solutions dedicated to the agrifood sector, such as the AgriChain and AgriOpenData software platforms for the traceability and digital certification of agricultural products and of the entire agrifood sector.
“As an Association,” declares Giovanni De Angelis, General Director of ANICAV, “we decided to set up an ad hoc pilot project that takes into account the specificities of the processing tomato sector, the real needs of our companies and the requirements of consumers in terms of quality. Our hope is that Tomato Blockchain will become a model that can be reproduced across the industry and capable of offering consumers maximum transparency and a guarantee on the quality of our products thanks to the integration of blockchain technology.”
“We are proud of this opportunity and aware of the importance of developing this project with the ANICAV, an association that is sensitive to the environment and that wants to guarantee transparency and trust,” declares Massimo Morbiato, CEO and founder of EZ Lab. “EZ Lab uses all of its expertise in the field of blockchain, a technology that we are among the first to have successfully applied to the real economy, with more than 40 traceability projects in different sectors of the agrifood sector, among others.”
Like the objectives pursued by a number of companies in southern Italy with the implementation of this technology, the use of blockchain should also provide support for the marketing of "made in Italy" products abroad, and contribute to fighting counterfeiting and "Italian Sounding" marketing. In addition, monitoring via blockchain will be an additional tool to protect the entire sector and identify the occurrence of illegal hiring or unfair practices with regard to the environment and to local communities.
Rodolfi Mansueto S.p.A. is one of the main Italian operators in the processing of tomatoes and their derived products. The company began in a small workshop in Remigio, San Pancrazio, in 1896, and for more than a century, it has processed in excess of 250,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes annually at its three production sites in Ozzano Taro, Fontanini and Castelguelfo (all located in the province of Parma). The raw material used is 100% Italian and is cultivated within a radius of 50 km around processing plants, especially in the provinces of Parma, Mantua, Ferrara and Piacenza. In 2013, Rodolfi Mansueto bought the site formerly owned by the Von Felten company.
The company is present in more than 75 countries around the world and its turnover amounted to EUR 72 million in 2018, generated by sales in retail, where the company is represented by its Ortolina brand, and in catering, with the Alpino, Ardita and Rodolfi brands. It also sells to industrial customers.
The company was among the first to launch into the organic agriculture sector, which is undoubtedly a force in a market where the demand for organic products continues to grow, including for industrial semi-finished products.
Sources: Anicav, Rodolfi Mansueto