Unlikely Revolutionaries | How Bellucci’s Founders are Remaking an Industry

At first glance, they may not look like revolutionaries. Still, Bellucci founders Massimo and Marcello have already changed the olive oil industry for good.

When they started out with a shared passion for delicious, nutritious food and the dedication to make the world a better place, they had no idea their friendship would grow into an entity with international impact. At the time, each led a small, independent farming cooperative. They decided to combine their efforts, recognizing the need for unity in protecting the interests of both farmers and consumers - and so Bellucci was born.

The news of the time reported a rising demand for high-quality extra virgin olive oil - resulting in a surge of fraudulent and inferior oils, all attempting to pass themselves off as the real stuff. The friends vowed to ensure that all goods they brought to market be held to the highest of standards - from the ground up.

To back this commitment, they decided to take their transparency to a whole new level - leveraging modern technology to create their own traceability tool. Bellucci’s Rootie app was was rolled out in short order.

In 2015, the Rootie app was recognized at the world’s leading food expo, winning the Anuga International Award for Best Communication, and was commended by the jury “for successfully communicating the value of a traditional agricultural product”, through digital innovation.

Bellucci customers could now trace every drop of their authentic Italian EVOO to source, exploring details of each bottle’s origin. Customers were empowered to develop their tasting skills, learn the differences between high-quality extra virgin olive oil and inferior products, and discover the stories of those who steward the land and trees. They could also use the app’s traceability features to find the specific harvest day and grove where their bottle’s olives were grown.

This level of detail and transparency were previously unheard of in the olive oil industry - where fakes and frauds are still pervasive. The time was ripe for revolutionizing the level of traceability involved in the production of high-quality extra virgin olive oils - and though they were ahead of the rest, Massimo and Marcello had no plans to cease their efforts at innovation.

Obtaining their Bureau Veritas certification was the next step. In conjunction with the International Organization for Standardization, Bureau Veritas has adopted a system of certifications consumers can rely on - with a reputation to back it up. Since 1894, they’ve conducted independent certification and analysis of consumer goods, offering authentication, product tracking, and production auditing of grocery goods such as high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

Not only do Bureau Veritas participants meet the strictest standards for food quality and safety, the ISO 22005 certification specifically allows growers and producers to verify and guarantee the traceability and origin of their goods. Bellucci’s ISO 22005 certification proves that each bottle was sourced from a specific geographical area, meets the highest standards for both purity and quality, and can be traced back to a specific grove and day of harvest.

To gain Bureau Veritas’s ISO 22005 certification, each bottle of Bellucci’s authentic Italian EVOO must meet exacting standards - which not only protects the livelihoods and interests of their collective of growers, but also adds an additional reassurance to buyers that their olive oil is truly safe, authentic, and ethically produced.

As if these efforts weren’t enough - the Bellucci founders are once more leading the way in their industry. A recent partnership between Certified Origins (Bellucci’s parent company - headquartered in Grosseto, Italy) and Oracle has resulted in an innovative application of blockchain technology, which these conscientious leaders are leveraging to take Bellucci’s food chain transparency to a whole new level.

Their plan is to incorporate Oracle’s technology to verify and offer complete transparency into the food supply chain, via an open ledger built on distributed blockchain technology. Tracking under the new blockchain verification system currently starts at the bottling facility, traveling all the way to US distribution - however the goal is to provide complete insight into the journey from farm to table.

Bellucci is already the leader in food traceability. As EVOO consumption increases worldwide and many new competitors are entering the market to meet demand, their commitment to offering precise, detailed information to ensure the authenticity of their product at all levels of production is profound.

This dedication to providing greater consumer transparency empowers customers in selecting truly authentic Italian EVOO - and the innovative decision to harness the power of blockchain technology will take Bellucci’s existing transparency practices a leap beyond the rest of the olive oil industry.

As CEO Gerard Jara stated, “Both the Rootie app and our trace-to-source use of blockchain technology allow us to fulfill consumer demand for honest, healthy, fresh and authentic Italian EVOO - at a time when integrity is what matters.”

If that’s not revolutionary progress - what is?

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