Fernando Vázquez Rojas, CEO of the smart label Naturcode:

"An empowered consumer is capable of transforming the agri-food chain to make it more sustainable"

In the mid-17th century, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote the phrase "scientia potentia est" in his work Leviathan. Three and a half centuries later, it has become a popular expression translated into all languages and used worldwide, and it also accurately describes one of the foundations of our society today: knowledge is power.

In fact, knowledge and information are no longer considered mere data sets, but a fundamental asset for companies and an essential decision-making tool for consumers. And in this regard, labeling, which is the first and most direct communication channel between producers and distributors and end consumers, counts for more than it seems, as Naturcode demonstrates.

"Naturcode is the first communication channel for the digital identification of agri-food products that aims to add value to the entire chain with impartiality and transparency. Our commitment has been to create a circular model of data use in which information reaches all links in the chain. Naturcode offers both information to consumers about the agri-food products they are buying and information on purchases to producers and distributors," says Fernando Vázquez, CEO of the Andalusian company.

Fernando Vázquez, CEO of Naturcode.

"Information is power and an empowered consumer is capable of transforming the agri-food chain to make it more sustainable," he says. Sustainability is indeed one of the goals pursued by the agri-food sector. "After fuel burning, it is the human activity with the greatest impact on the environment; a magnitude that gives an idea of the importance of the problem that Naturcode is tackling." Besides, according to the professional, in our immediate community alone there are 2.6 supermarkets for every 1,000 inhabitants; a ratio that puts pressure on local producers and small distributors. "For them, Naturcode also offers a solution. Through the platform's information, they are able to know the needs of consumers and make adjustments to their range. They can profile customers, foresee trends, discover synergies..., so that they can optimize and make their activity more profitable and sustainable."

How does Naturcode work?
As explained by Fernando Vázquez, more than 5,000 products and 1,000 producers and brands are already implementing the Naturcode smart label, which provides consumers with full and detailed information that makes differentiation possible in a market where there are 15 million products and only 10% of them are digitized. They feature all kinds of data about the product, from a description, the ingredients or its origin to any recognition received or the certifications it has.

"The consumer interacts with this information in two ways: passively, by directly accessing the data by scanning a QR code or by NFC on the product label or at the point of sale, and dynamically, by obtaining information through feedback from other buyers and providing their own. Each consumer query provides value to the rest of the chain."

Important firms such as the Cordoba-based Sunaran SAT have already managed to test the power of this circular feedback, as the following video from the startup explains:

Impartiality and transparency
Impartiality and transparency are the basis of this digital platform, arbitrated by a group of associations to ensure that the information provided meets these principles. "Also, we have our own code of ethics that guarantees that we operate with transparency and the information that consumers receive through Naturcode is backed by an external Scientific Advisory Committee, which assesses the product reviews based on the belief that food should be safe, healthy, sustainable, satisfying, social and supportive," says Naturcode's CEO.

In addition to the support from the industry, the Huelva-based firm also obtained the recognition of the European Commission at the end of 2019 after being selected by the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) program from among the nearly 80 European initiatives that were presented to launch the COMPLAT Project (Communication Platform).

For more information:
Fernando Vázquez
Tel.: +34 959 600 841

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