For ten years, we have been BRCGS and IFS certified, following international standards that aim to harmonize the different standards adopted by Europe’s large-scale distribution. Both refer to quality management systems, the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) methodology and Factory Environmental, a set of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and GHP (Good Hygiene Practice) requirements. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is an international initiative that aims to strengthen and promote food safety throughout the supply chain. Recently, the GFSI has succeeded in getting the major international retailers to accept the concept of equal validity and interchangeability between the standards recognized by the GFSI itself, thus allowing them to reduce the duplication of conformity certificates concerning standards similar to each other.
The British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety was created in 1998 to ensure that branded products are obtained according to well-defined quality standards and comply with the minimum requirements. The standard was developed by the British Retail Consortium, which represents the major British retailers, such as Tesco Stores, Sainsbury’s Supermarket, ASDA Stores, etc., and UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service), a British national accreditation body, which recognizes it. Therefore, the application of the BRCGS is a prerequisite to export its products and is a recognized guarantee of corporate reliability.
The International Food Standard is another unified evaluation system that checks quality and safety systems, applied to all production levels in which food is processed (food companies or companies that pack loose food products). It encourages the effective selection of food suppliers under the large-scale distribution brand, based on their ability to provide safe products, compliant with contractual specifications and legal requirements. It also constitutes a model recognized both in Europe and the rest of the world. Version 3 of IFS Food was developed and promoted by the German Retail Federation (HDE) in 2003, then updated and introduced to the French market in 2004 by the French traders and distributors federation (FCD). In the following years, the associations of Italian distributors also showed a certain interest in IFS. The latest version (version 5), introduced on January 1, 2008, constitutes a sort of collaboration between three federations of distributors from Germany, France, and Italy.
As for the US market, we are registered with the Food & Drug Administration and already have several certified preserved food products that we regularly export. The FDA is the US government agency that deals with the regulation of food and pharmaceutical products, dependent on the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It aims to protect citizens’ health through regulations that control products on the markets that are under its jurisdiction; the control tools include both pre-market evaluations and post-marketing monitoring.
We have had organic certification since 2012, making us the second Italian company to have obtained organic certification for both fresh products and preserved truffle-based products. We are among the very few European companies that have a similar certification for truffle products. Near Acqualagna, we have a certified organic truffle grove that allows us to collect the precious tuber from uncontaminated soil. As for our sauces and creams that involve the use of other ingredients, we only select certified organic products and exclude genetically modified organisms and products deriving from chemical synthesis. However, adding flavor is an important and delicate process for some preserved organic products; it would be useless to hide it. Therefore, we would like to point out that it is not done artificially/chemically but with great care and professionalism, using completely natural ingredients.