HomelabelsShort supply chain, concepts and values

Short supply chain, concepts and values

'Short chain,Km0'. The tricolor is already the most successful logo, out of over 10 thousand of the 72.100 labels on the shelf surveyed in GS1-Italy Imagine 2018 report. And the '100% italian'is the rising star, sales + 7,8% compared to 2017. We then go further, to express the value of integrated supply chains in limited areas. But pay attention to the words and their meaning.

The 'short chain' in EU law

The concept of 'short supply chain' it first appeared in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with the idea of ​​supporting and promoting sustainable rural development. Except then exclude peasant agriculture and familiar from access to contributions that are in fact reserved for macro-scale crops, regardless of their actual impact on the ecosystem.

The European legislator of 2013 referred the interest to 'the promotion and organization of the food chain, including the processing and marketing of agricultural products, animal welfare and risk management in the agricultural sector, with particular regard to improving the competitiveness of primary producers by better integrating them into the agri-food chain through quality schemes'. And so, 'the creation of added value for agricultural products, the promotion of products in local markets, short supply chains, producer associations and organizations and interbranch organizations'.

'Short chain: a supply chain made up of a limited number of economic operators who are committed to promoting cooperation, local economic development and close socio-territorial relationships between producers, processors and consumers. ' (1)

Short supply chain, concepts and values

Cooperation and local economic development, holy words, with 'close relationshipssocial - as well as territorial - between those who produce, those who transform and those who consume. Applied literally, the concept expressed by the European legislator is roughly that of kolkhoz. Gorgeous but out of date, unfortunately. Here and now it can be considered that the 'short chain' postulates the following requirements:

- direct commercial relations between primary agricultural production, processing and distribution. The reference to 'a limited number of economic operators'appears compatible with aggregations of producers (e.g. cooperatives and consortia) but certainly not with the various stages of intermediation that still characterize some agricultural supply chains,

- the agricultural phase must be located in a territorial area as defined and limited as possible. In relation at least to the primary ingredients of processed foods. Thus the transformation that enhances local raw materials and guarantees the continuity of supplies, in compliance with fair business practices, can realize the 'cooperation and local economic development'. Even if it occurs in a different region of the country, (2)

- trust is in fact the basis of 'close socio-territorial relationships (…) with consumers'. Just that trust that is still lacking, for example, in food sales by global ecommerce giants. The social relationship must therefore be sought in the guarantee of the effective sustainability of the productions, the That is, respect for the environment and populations.

The social pact is therefore the trait d'union that binds the protagonists of the supply chain. Farmers and breeders, processors and packers, distributors and consumers. Wherever the latter are based, the logic remains that of one intact supply chain from seed to fork e from feed to fork, even in a digital economy and in markets of varying size. Without ever losing sight of any of the elements that really qualify a food chain as sustainable. Where:

- L 'sustainable agriculture it finds true expression, in fact, only in biological system(3)

- the work must be guaranteed, In 'fairness of conditions and rights. And tracked, even in the minimum hourly wage, also making use of innovative traceability systems (eg. Wise Chain),

- good commercial practices they must also be guaranteed by introducing vera transparency in the value chain. The 'cake', that is to say the final price of the products, must be light, to allow all consumers to be able to buy 'good and fair' food. And the slices of the cake must be shared fairly, taking into account the actual contribution of each operator, in production and distribution. Only in this way can one really refer, seriously, to 'close social relations'. Since at thecooperation'refers, not to subordination and speculation.

Fair supply chains and respectful of ecosystems, individuals and animal welfare, based on the objective value of human and ethical activities in the territories. Therefore short and cultured supply chains. #WiiseChain, in fact.

# Égalité!

Dario Dongo


(1) See reg. EU 1305/2013 'on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)', art. 2.1.m)

(2) The short supply chain is a model of sustainable development that must be able to offer an alternative to the globalized supply chain. Circumscribing the maximum distances between those who cultivate, those who process and those who distribute within a narrow territorial area (e.g. regional level) can effectively nullify these objectives.

(3) The reference only to 'integrated struggle'and'integrated agriculture'should instead be understood as a practice of unfair information, in contrast with the reg. EU 1169/11 (article 7.1.c). Since it is an agronomic method prescribed to all operators in Europe, its simple statement is not valid to distinguish a product from others belonging to the same category.

Different is the case of 'zero residues'and other similar terms (see https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/etichette/senza-glifosate-residui-zero-valori-e-regole)

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