Food Safety

Princes & Coldiretti: An Offer They Couldn’t Refuse

In the world of trade, it’s been widely accepted that the market decides how much a product should be valued at. However the world is quickly getting wise to the way a model like capitalism can incentivise companies to cut corners and therefore exploit people and resources to price their product more competitively within the market.

The casualties usually end up being the people and the environment that produces the product as a result of having to meet tighter margins that will allow for competitive pricing in the market. The good news is that there are companies in the market that now appreciate the long term downside of this effect.
The need for greater sustainability measures is paramount and we are seeing certain companies embrace the opportunity to invest for a long term return instead of chasing the quick buck.

In an unprecedented move, the leading food and drink company Princes have committed to paying a higher price for their Italian tomatoes. On the surface it might appear to be at odds with a healthy profit margin, however on closer inspection it’s actually a smart investment in responsible profit longevity.

Given that Princes rely on the network of tomato growers in Puglia to supply their tomatoes, it would be highly shortsighted (and not to mention counterproductive) for those growers to be financially unsustainable ahead of a future where Princes will still need to sell tomatoes.

As Princes Industrie Alimentari (PIA) MD Gianmarco Laviola publicly stated to The Grocer: “We can’t talk about sustainability if the supply chain can’t stand on one leg [financially]…” 

QADEX is pleased to see that by doing their due diligence, Princes is now paying the true cost for producing sustainable tomatoes at 20% above the current market value. 

But this higher premium doesn’t only support the true costs of growth and harvesting tomatoes…

It actually creates incentives that positively support a sustainable future in agriculture such as a push towards innovation. QADEX and its customers have always shared an ethos that being complacent and “doing what you’ve always done” does not compute with making progress in the future.

Therefore, Princes can now look forward to seeing innovations such as satellite surveys of crop development and precision control equipment being deployed by their growers as a result of the higher premium. The knock on effect will not only encourage a higher output of produce but will also benefit the planet by reducing the negative environmental impact that farming can cause.

And perhaps more importantly, the investment will provide the resources to ensure Princes have the peace of mind that their worker’s welfare is protected under the guidance of Oxfam. Exploitative practises that threaten the welfare of those in the Napolina grower network such as the ‘Caporale System’ can be combated to ensure that a 100% ethical sourcing target is not out of reach for the food producer and its supplier.

QADEX looks forward to seeing more positive steps (like this one) being made towards a sustainable future in food and drink supply chains the world over.

For more information and to discover how QADEX could help you improve your supply chain, contact us.