Italy: Coop launches traceability initiative

Italy: Coop launches traceability initiative

In a move designed to demonstrate greater openness, leading Italian supermarket Coop has unveiled a new initiative allowing consumers to find out “where their food comes from”.

Dubbed “Origini Trasparenti” (“Transparent Origins”), the initiative sees the launch of a website which will allow consumers to identify the origin of ingredients in more than 1,400 of the supermarket’s own brand products. Entering the EAN (barcode) number of any of these products reveals where the primary ingredients come from, as well as the country in which the product is manufactured.

For users of mobile devices, an app has being created which will reveal the same information simply by taking a photo of the barcode. Meanwhile, for the estimated 4 in 10 Italians who do not have access to the Internet, brochures, posters and in some cases computer terminals will be made available in Coop stores across Italy to provide access to the same information.

Speaking to La Repubblica, Marco Pedroni, president of Coop Italia, commented: “The question of ingredient sourcing is one I have been pursuing for a long time and with a great deal of determination. Coop has always favoured products of Italian origin, and currently 60% of the grocery products we sell are made from ingredients sourced in Italy, a proportion which rises if you exclude raw materials such as coffee and cocoa that cannot be grown here. But consumers need to understand that, even for ingredients we can grow ourselves, Italy does not currently produce enough to be self-sufficient.”

Source: La Repubblica