Tuesday , January 19 2021

Food labels: there are also "ethical"

Many manufacturers decide to go beyond what is required by law and adhere to protocols to ensure also the environment, resources or workers.

In the context"agribusiness, who wants provide his own production and take it into account for consumers, can do it in different ways: in compliance with the requirements provided mandatory rules, choosing to produce in accordance with a particular discipline, for example, one of those that will then allow him to define his product as Dop or Igpjust to name a few. In addition to these, some manufacturers then decided stick to at voluntary production protocolsto demonstrate to the consumer that he also paid attention to other aspects related to the manufacturing process.

We asked a lawyer Dario Dongo, an expert in international food law and founder Great Italian Food Trade and site dowhich also contains information about food, which lists the main ones. Among the many protocols of voluntary membership, Dongo identified two main certifications: biological and SA (Social Responsibility) 8000.


"Who adheres to the discipline of organic production in accordance with the principles regulated by regulation recently updated (848/2018), warranty not only productionbut contribute also service or recovery from natural areas, ”explains Dongo,“ This is a certification that follows uniform rules in Europe, created by third parties who control discipline and which has existed for almost 40 years, with goals that exceed the health problem and preservation of natural habitats with particular attention to wild flora and fauna ”.

Social responsibility

Considering the environment, it is also worth looking at workers, and the brands that protect them are different. There is, however, one international standard which, according to Dario Dongo, can be considered a reference: it’s about SA 8000where "sa" means "Social responsibility"It `s that,Social responsibility". "This is an international standard subject to certification voluntarywho is interested in a specific, objective way and based on common parameters, guarantee the absence of exploitation by workers also in terms of protecting the rights of trade unions and respecting the rights of workers in standards defined byThe International Labour Organizationas well as from Universal Declaration of Human Rights and convention UN on the rights of the child. "

Here, the standard also applies to certificates that are issued after checks and checks. third bodies“As regards compliance with this standard, there is Italian excellence, Dongo explains:Coop Italy was the first European retailer to introduce SA8000 certification in a structural form for all products associated with its brand. The warranty offered by the SA8000 is strict and broad because it includes all operators upstream of the supply chain, from primary agricultural products to logistics, as well as any intermediate rings in the distribution. ”

Where to find them: on the label or with some research

Organic certification is clearly visible on the label with the European symbol "sheet"With stars who also show numbers to identify the manufacturer and the supply chain, while the standard SA8000 displayed by the symbol or indicated in text form. If you do not find it, visiting the company's website in the sections on social responsibility can eliminate any doubts.

Cover image: Photomontage by Armando Tondo

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