To reassure its customers of the consistent quality of its cured meat products, family-owned company Colli del Garda joined with IBM Business Partners Var Group S.p.A. and Apio S.r.L. to launch a blockchain solution powered by the IBM Food Trust™ platform. Now staff and consumers have direct visibility into the full history of each item being sold.
Colli del Garda wanted to better inform consumers regarding the high quality, sustainable and healthy standards it uses producing hams and cured meat.
Working with the IBM Digital Group and IBM Business Partners, Colli del Garda launched a new blockchain-based supply chain management platform that can feed product details and histories directly to the public.
A delicious, well-crafted meal is its own art form. Finding the delicate balance between flavors, textures and nutrition can be challenging enough, even with the richest of ingredients. But when using out of season produce or substandard foods, the finest chef will struggle to create something delicious, let alone a culinary masterpiece.
For Colli del Garda, a niche provider of cured meats, delivering consistent, high-quality ingredients is not only a must, it’s a family tradition.
“Our farm is a family business. Since our beginning, we’ve applied the same passion and traditional methods since we started, selecting valuable breeds — especially local native genetics — and exceeding the quality standards we target,” explains Mr. Stefano Azzini, owner of Colli del Garda. “Our mission is to produce and market while respecting the balance between man and nature, and to do that, we need to take care of the entire supply chain, from the birth of the animal to the food on your table.”
While quality had always been a priority for Colli del Garda, the business struggled with how to demonstrate and express this commitment to consumers. But with the rise of blockchain technology, the company realized that it was facing an opportunity.
“It was a visibility problem,” clarifies Mr. Azzini. “We wanted to instill confidence and trust in our customers. We wanted them to know that when they bought our products, they knew what they were getting and how much we worked to guarantee that result. We also believed blockchain would let us better express our values and commitment, according to our motto: ‘Say what you do. Do what you say.’”
At the same time, the business would be able to accelerate its traceability and process management efforts. And by more closely monitoring the end of the supply chain — the purchases made by consumers — Colli del Garda could even gain valuable insight into customer preference and buying behaviors.
Joining with IBM and IBM Business Partner Var Group S.p.A., Colli del Garda deployed Trusty, an integrated traceability solution backed by the IBM Food Trust platform. The new environment delivers a clear view into the company’s complete supply and distribution chains, and it aggregates this data into a common format, making it easier to report on and monitor ongoing operations. The system also tracks food handling and related safety procedures, recording these details in an immutable ledger that makes it easy to vet and verify each key-step.
“We can see everything in real time,” adds Mr. Azzini. “We know what’s going on with our animals — how fresh their feed is, when was the last time they were ill, are they underweight — so we can reduce the risk of cross-contamination or disease. And we know what’s going on with our consumers. We can see what they’re buying and when they’re buying it.”
And to make it easier for consumers to view this traceability information, Var Group integrated the new supply chain environment with the Trusty solution from IBM Business Partner Apio S.r.L. Now, shoppers can use the Trusty app to scan a QR code attached to Colli del Garda meat products, which shares all manner of details — animal history, curing methods, shipping records — related to that specific item. Trusty also makes it easier for consumers to find related recipes, leave comments and ask questions regarding specific products.
With the IBM Food Trust blockchain platform in place, Colli del Garda has reinforced its commitment to delivering quality food to its customers. “We’ve been able to build an incredible level of trust with consumers,” notes Mr. Azzini. “We can offer a unique storytelling experience that details the life, health and preparation of the food that you’re going to serve to your family. We also produce our food to comply with the Protected Designation of Origin requirements, and Food Trust helps make verifying and monitoring that process much easier.”
And by taking advantage of the Trusty app, Colli del Garda has gained valuable insight into the customer experience. Armed with this direct feedback, purchasing statistics and enhanced contact profiling, the company can more easily develop relevant products and marketing efforts that better match consumer interest.
Finally, the business has reduced the risk posed by counterfeit products that might leave customers with a substandard experience and damage the Colli del Garda brand. Or as Mr. Azzini explains it, “When they buy something with our name on it, they know the value they’re getting — where it comes from and by whom it was generated.”
Originally founded as a breeder in 1985, Colli del Garda (link resides outside of ibm.com) now develops and markets niche cured-pork products for the demanding consumer. The business is based in Cavriana, a small, pleasant city close to Lake Garda in Northern Italy, where the organization breeds and controls the entire supply chain to deliver high-quality foods to the public. Altogether, Colli del Garda employs 15 staff and packages an average 150 raw hams and 700 kg of cooked meats each month.
About Var Group S.p.A.
IBM Business Partner Var Group (link resides outside of ibm.com) offers IT solutions focused on process integration, digital transformation and managed security. A subsidiary of SeSa S.p.A., Var Group employs over 2,500 staff at its 23 sites in Italy and its seven international offices.
About Apio S.r.L.
Established in 2014, IBM Business Partner Apio ((link resides outside of ibm.com) develops integrated hardware and software solutions, focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) and innovation technologies like blockchain. The business is headquartered in Spoltore (Pescara), Italy.
To learn more about the IBM solution featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.
To learn more about its integration solutions and services and what Var Group S.p.A. can do for you, please visit: Var Group (link resides outside of ibm.com)
To learn more about its IoT solutions and what Apio S.r.L. can do for you, please visit: Apio (link resides outside of ibm.com)
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