04 Apr Choose Italian food safety
Ma-Vi Trade, with its experience in the food sector, has been promoting the culture of good food with passion and dedication for more than 20 years, bringing fine food all over the world. Each product, from cheeses to cured meat, from traditional pantry products to vegan and plant-based products is 100% Made in Italy. Furthermore, the observed high-quality standards allow Ma-Vi Trade to be included among the most reliable Italian export companies.
What does “quality Italian food” mean?
The concept of quality has been changing through years due to the evolution of the way consumers think and act in the market. Nowadays, customers are much more informed than before: new media have contributed to make all the information needed available to everyone. Moreover, consumers are more watchful and independent, they are no longer passive recipients of the productive and communicative efforts made by companies. To tell the truth, they are considered as important stakeholders and real partners.
In particular, food sector consumers demand healthy, nourishing and safe products that are obtained through environmentally and animal friendly procedures. They also want to be sure about the provenience of the ingredients. All these changings have led companies to modify their production and distribution systems.
Food certification of products
But that is not all. The quality of a product / service is created not only by the quality perceived by the customer, but also by the objective quality determined by the industries and the organised large-scale retail distribution. There are various factors which can identify the “total quality” of a food product. For this reason, it is possible to find different types of qualities:
- hygiene and health
- chemical and nutritional
- quality of origin
- legal quality
In general, the quality pursued by companies is called “objective quality” because it is precise, measurable and meets the standard parameters. It is also extremely connected to the concept of “food safety”.
Quality, safety and taste: three characteristics consumers demand for Italian food products. And food certifications exist in order to guarantee that. It is necessary to make a distinction between regulated certifications and voluntary certifications. The first ones are all those certifications used for products with specific characteristics, methods and places of production, which respect the rules established by the EEC. Producers are free to decide whether or not to have those certifications, and if so they will have to comply with all the established rules. Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) certifications are part of this category. Two of the iconic products of Italian cuisine that Ma-Vi Trade exports all over the world are Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano, both PDO cheeses.
Voluntary certifications, on the other hand, are based on technical standards and given to companies by organizations recognized at national, EU or international level.
Food safety certifications
There are also certifications which are not directly referred to the product, but they are B2B (Business to Business) certifications. These ones, in addition to ensuring the conformity of the product itself, these certifications protect customers and above all they guarantee a safe and qualified service within the distribution chain / during the distribution process. On this subject, Ma-Vi Trade has obtained two internationally recognized certifications: BRC Agent and Broker and IFS Broker.
BRC and IFS standards are international schemes which have the objective to make the different standards of the European large-scale distribution harmonized through the use of common principles.
The BRC standard – British Retail Consortium – was born in the UK, where now is institutionalized. The IFS – International Featured Standard – is a similar document issued by the most important names of the German, French and Italian large-scale retail trade.
Which advantages do the BRC / IFS Certifications give?
- Access to target markets in many European countries
- Stronger relationships with suppliers
- Greater transparency and consumers’ confidence increase
- Simplification of the production
- Control of the internal processes and minimization of risk
- Demonstration of a proactive approach to food security
Eco-sustainable, compostable and biodegradable packaging.
Ma-Vi Trade is working hard to find new solutions in order to reduce the consumption of packaging and, instead, use compostable and biodegradable materials. In the last few years both companies and consumers have gained awareness about the impact that packaging materials, plastic in particular, have on earth.
Food packaging should not be underestimated because, besides containing and wrapping a product, it preserves and isolates it from the external environment. It contributes also to its protection during the delivery and all the information about the product are written on it.
Now more than ever, another major feature is the greater or lesser ease of disposing and recycling the packaging materials. For this reason, also Ma-Vi Trade Group is paying special attention to it and wants to contribute to the safeguard of the environment.
European Union towards a circular economy.
Europe is trying to lay the foundations for making all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030. The final objectives EU wants to reach are protecting the environment and steering countries towards a circular economy, that consists in a type of economy in which all products, at their end-of-life stage, are recycled. In this way they can create new value and be reused.
The European Parliament has recently approved a directive that requires Member States to prohibit the use of disposable plastic products by 2021. For example, we are talking about cutlery, plates, glasses, cotton buds, straws etc. The directive also stipulates that by 2025 plastic bottles must be composed of at least 25% by recycled material, 30% by 2030. Furthermore, all Member States will have to collect separately 90% of plastic bottles by 2029.