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September 19th at 2 pm (Rome Time)

The scientists of EU Project QUAFETY come back on tacler tomorrow!

Dear FreshPlaza readers and tacler users, we invite you to meetings on the tacler platform (www.tacler.com) to learn more about the European project Quafety, as happened last July.

You can find the full version of the interviews and of the open discussions of July registering on www.tacler.com and visiting the Quafety section.
Moreover, you can read the report of July meetings also in Quafety section within www.freshplaza.com.

Tomorrow, friday, 19th September, at 2.00 pm (Rome Time) on tacler platform there will be the scientists of University of Athens, Dr Eleftherios Drosinos (A/Professor in Food Safety and Quality Management Systems) and Dr Periklis Tzamalis (Ph.D. canditate in Agricultural University of Athens and Lead Auditor in Food Safety and Quality Management System) will speak of "Quality and food safety management systems and voluntary certification schemes".

The topics that will be presented have been studied in the context of Quafety Work Package N. 7, the details of project are available at official website www.quafety.eu.

During the meeting, via-chat, it will be possible for each fresh-cut industry operator asking questions and taking contact with the scientists who will explain the type of work carried out within the project and especially the obtained results.

Brief summary of the topics that will be covered in the meeting on 19th September follows:

Quality and food safety management systems and voluntary certification schemes
Last years observed an important increase in voluntary certification schemes for agricultural products. An inventory compiled for the Commission in 2010 (Study conducted by Areté for DG AGRI; see http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/index_en.htm) lists more than 440 different schemes, most of which were established during the last decade.

Through these certification schemes ensured that attributes of the product or its production method, developed according specific specifications (mainly through a certification mechanism).

These certification schemes:
• cover a wide range of different initiatives that function at different stages of the food supply chain (pre- or post-farm gate; covering all or part of the food supply chain; affecting all sectors or just one market segment, etc.);
• can operate at business-to-business (B2B) level (where the supermarket or processing business is the intended final recipient of the information) or at business-to-consumer (B2C) level;
• can use logos although many, especially the B2B schemes, do not.

Drivers for the development of these certification schemes could be:
• demands from the society (such as animal welfare; environmental sustainability; fair trade) which referring to characteristics of the product or its production process (B2C schemes);
• organizations' desire to ensure that their suppliers meet specified requirements (B2B schemes).

Benefits from these certification schemes:
• for the intermediate actors in the food supply chain, protecting liability and reputation for product and label claims;
• for the producers, by increasing market access, market share and product margins for certified products and also, potentially, by increasing efficiency and reducing transaction costs;
• for the consumers, by providing reliable and trustworthy information on product and process attributes.

Disadvantages could be arising from the application of these certification schemes:
• could be threats to the single market;
• doubts relating to the transparency of scheme requirements and the credibility of claims particularly for schemes that certify compliance with baseline requirements;
• potential for misleading consumers;
• costs and burdens on farmers, particularly where they have to join several schemes to meet demands from their buyers;
• risk of rejection from the market of producers not participating in such certification schemes;
• impacts on international trade, especially with developing countries.

Publication date: 9/18/2014
Author: Emanuela Fontana
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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