Altromercato, a non-profit social enterprise active in fair trade throughout Italy, Mangiarsano, one of the most important organic food producers in Italy, and Perlage Wines, one of the first BCorp in Italy. The three companies have joined forces with an innovative startup, Vicenza Organic Food, and the Science and Technology Park of Verona, to experiment with the concept of Production Chain 4.0.
Transparency, traceability, but also information sharing inside and outside the chain and engagement of the final consumer are the objectives of this innovative project. In order to achieve this, a digital tool has been designed to bring out the distinctive elements for those companies that have sustainability - social, environmental and economic - at the heart of their mission.
The project has been recognised as being of interest by the Veneto Region in the context of collaborative R&D activities for the experimentation of new sustainable technologies, products and services, and supported by funding made available under the European Regional Development Fund.
The project originates from the awareness that for a growing number of consumers worldwide, the quality of a food product is also measured by its ability to bring benefits to the community and the territory in which the producer operates. There are many small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly in Italy, that are pursuing the theme of product quality and sustainability. However, they now have to deal with the proliferation of green information, the result of purely commercial operations that cause economic damage to those in the agri-food industry who have made sustainable development a key element of their business activities.
In the course of the project, which began in 2019, an attempt was made to create a first digital platform capable of tracing all the steps of the products of two sustainable supply chains: that of organic Prosecco Superiore DOCG and that of fair trade sugar. The aim of Filiera 4.0 is not only to guarantee the origin and quality of the product, but also to trace the social and environmental impacts linked to the two projects, in particular: the price paid to the farmers, the relationship with the suppliers, the distribution among different actors such as producer, processor and distributor of the final price paid by the customer.
The platform is supported by a data protection system called blockchain, which can make the information entered unchangeable and further guarantee the end customer.