The Standard Qualivita is the Qualivita Foundation’s private and voluntary certification scheme. The Standard defines criteria to ensure the veracity and transparency of communication on food quality and services by companies in the restaurant industry participating in the project. The participating companies must comply with objectively verifiable requirements. Compliance is verified through checks carried out by an independent third party (CB). The Standard Qualivita is the first certification scheme in Europe that operates in the field of restaurant communications and marketing, innovating the way quality is communicated.
GUARANTEE SYSTEM FOR THE TRANSPARENCY OF INFORMATION ON QUALITY FOOD IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY
The evolution of eating styles highlights the changes in people’s eating habits, with a growing trend in the consumption of meals outside the home, which currently refers to 41% of Italians. A percentage that corresponds to more than 20 million citizens, who today are increasingly sensitive to the issues of quality and food safety, and who at least once a day eat meals prepared by restaurants, collective catering, such as school and company canteens, or catering services. The Standard Qualivita is the certification system created by the Qualivita Foundation, which aims to ensure the transparency and accuracy of information on the quality of the products and services in the Ho.Re.Ca channel. It was created to meet the growing needs of the restaurant industry and consumers in terms of the safety, transparency and quality of food. Through the Standard, the Qualivita Foundation grants the use of the Q-Qualivita mark to companies in the restaurant industry that meet the requirements for transparent communication, customer care and the valorization of quality products, which are codified in the Specification and Regulations for the use of the mark. The company’s compliance with the requirements provided for in the Standard is verified through tests performed by a third control body, CSQA Certificazioni s.r.l., which is responsible for the control procedure.
FIELDS OF INTERVENTION
The Standard Qualivita only intervenes on the accuracy and transparency of communication regarding food quality and service. Any information disclosed by the company on issues regarding the environment, energy and safety in the workplace are therefore not included in the Standard, as they do not fall into the objectives and valorization activities of the Qualivita Foundation. Furthermore, in regard to nutritional information, the Standard only guarantees the concessionaire’s commitment to providing nutritional information on the products it serves, but does not assume any responsibility for the correctness of the nutritional values communicated, or for any communications on the beneficial properties of the same.
The Standard Qualivita wants to contribute to transferring, applying and implementing the objectives of the EU quality policies: communicating the quality agri-food food system through the restaurant industry (commercial and collective), strengthening the relationship of trust between consumers and companies; ensuring the reliability of the services and the credibility of communications; informing people of the issues of food quality; and promoting certified quality agri-food products. In restaurants adhering to the Standard Qualivita, you can receive information about PDO PGI products through educational material specially created by the Qualivita Foundation, in order to inform consumers and promote the valorization of quality products in the agri-food supply chain. The Standard Qualivita aims to be a guarantee of transparency for consumers, at the same time representing a tool for strengthening the competitive advantage of adhering companies, as it allows them to differentiate themselves on the market thanks to their choice of transparent communication that can be verified by third parties.
The Standard Qualivita has the following objectives:
Transparent communication – Transparency for consumers: the company agrees to share the planning and content of information regarding the characteristics of their products and services with Qualivita, and to submit to impartial inspections, adhering to the principle of professional diligence in their role as communicator.
Customer care – Welcoming customers and responding to their complaints and requests for information in the place where they are eating their meal. Complaints can also be reported directly to Qualivita, through the website qualivita.it or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valorization of quality – The company’s commitment to promoting and encouraging the consumption of the quality food products served, and to not using PDO / PGI-“like” products.
Report to the consumer – The company is committed to informing the customer of all the initiatives on communication, customer care and use of quality products through its Corporate Annual Report or company website.
The Standard Qualivita consists of several essential elements that explain the objectives and define the operation mechanism in detail.
Standard Qualivita Specification: this is the document in which the Standard’s objectives and guiding principles are explained;
Regulations governing the use of the mark: this specifies in detail the requirements and methods for using the mark;
Q-Qualivita mark: the graphic symbol that is issued to companies in the Ho.re.ca channel which adhere to the Standard and meet the requirements;
Control plan: the document drawn up for each company, which sets out specific control procedures for the requirements provided for in the Standard;
Control body: third party body that prepares the control plan and carries out inspections on the applicant, restaurants and upstream supply chain;
Certificate of conformity: the certificate issued by the inspection body, certifying the company’s compliance with the requirements provided for in the Standard.