DOP economy, innovation, sustainability, traceability, digitization.
These are some of the keywords that served as the leitmotif for “Italia Next DOP”, the 1st Scientific Symposium dedicated to the PDO and PGI supply chains, an initiative organized by the Qualivita Foundation to disseminate scientific research involving this sector (Rome, Auditorium della Tecnica, February 22, 2023).
The event, divided into plenary scientific sessions and the presentation of over 60 research projects related to Italian PDOs and PGIs in the Agorà Space of GI (geographic indication) Research, obtained large public participation, aiming at stimulating the connection between research and the productive sector, given the challenges (climate change, nutriscore, unfair competition, environmental sustainability, food frauds) that the GI supply chain, an Italian excellence, has to face. It is precisely on such important issues that it is necessary to support technology transfer so that research translates into innovation. In this perspective, the Agorà offered an overview of successful stories, where the protagonists are the PDO and PGI products valued, protected, and renewed thanks to the collaboration between research institutions and consortia. Italia Next DOP is the first step of a long-term strategy promoted by the Qualivita Foundation and entitled “Qualivita 2030” which will see the launch of a new international dissemination magazine and the organization of a biennial symposium as well as widespread thematic workshops on the territory. Qualivita 2030 intends to be one of the tools for the promotion of scientific knowledge on Geographical Indications, in line with the European Farm to Fork strategy and the UN agenda.
Eco Research contributed to the Agorà presenting the results of research projects related to the traceability of typical South Tyrolean products, in particular the South Tyrolean Apple PGI, thanks to the use of isotopic markers (strontium isotope ratio). These studies were both of a theoretical nature, to evaluate the strengths and limits of the strontium isotope ratio as an origin-related marker, but also with an application slant to compare the different cultivation areas, local and non-local, and create classification models of apples based on their provenance. The results of the studies conducted by Eco Research in collaboration with the Laimburg Research Center and the Free University of Bolzano demonstrate the applicability of this analysis and its potential. The possibility of objectively and verifiably demonstrating the origin of a product must represent an added value available to local producers to enhance and protect their products, guaranteeing transparency for the final consumer. Even at the local level, the research intends to support traditional and quality products, to preserve the territory and increase the competitiveness of the agrifood sector.
For more information, refer to the material prepared for Italia Next DOP.