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Short supply chain, we hear about it often and it sounds like something good and good for the environment, but there are also those who argue that it's just gossip, or those who label themselves as Short supply chain without really being. In this evolving situation of ambiguity, let's clarify our ideas and decide for ourselves.
Short supply chain: definition
In general when we talk about short supply chain, we want to refer to a product that arrives in our hands after a series of steps, from its origin to its arrival in our hands, which must not be numerous. Our purchase, be it a food, a dress, an object, must pass from hand to hand a few times, the number of steps must be minimal between producer and consumer in order to be able to speak of a short supply chain.
There are cases of "fake" short supply chains, but others in which more than "short" could be defined as "minimal" given that a direct dialogue between those who produce and those who consume or use, which excludes the intermediary, avoids transport costs, but not only. Even the resulting pollution.
Short food chain
There Short supply chain more talked about and used is that concerning food products. When we turn to this how to buy food, we find products often organic and natural and we have the opportunity to directly verify the quality, but also the origin and the methods with which they were created and packaged.
One of the opportunities to learn about and buy food from Short supply chain is to go directly to the place of production but today we can also look for them in shops, Farmer Market, GAS and restaurants. Some forward-thinking supermarkets also offer food with pride.
Among the reasons that can lead us to seek the Short supply chain the most felt are the desire and the need to eat healthily and with seasonal, organic, tasty and least "polluted" food.
There are also organized realities that offer products of the short food chain at home: have managed to organize a low environmental impact distribution in the area where they are located, reaching short supply chain lovers at home with seasonal or weekly cassettes. They often contain fruit and vegetables but also oil and cheeses, preserves and wine.
Short supply chain and zero km
When we talk about zero km in part we mean Short supply chain but the two terms do not coincide. In the first case, we want to focus a lot on the distribution phase and not so much on the steps that our product makes from origin to consumption.
The Km Zero concept it is just as tied to sustainability as that of Short supply chain, it is a desire always driven by the desire to respect the world around us by polluting as little as possible.
As it often happens, minimizing our footprint on the planet, we also end up reducing transport costs with the idea of Km Zero, which is why even non-small companies are attentive to this way of doing that is gaining ground in Italy as in other greener countries than us. Often buying or distributing food at Km Zero, even the packaging is reduced to a minimum, designed to be functional and with zero or almost zero waste.
Impossible, speaking of Short and Zero Km supply chain, do not quote Slow Food, the eco-gastronomic association that since 1989, in preview, has been pursuing these ideas by giving us a tasty alternative option to fast food. Eating slow food it also nourishes the local traditions of a land like the Italian one, which has some famous all over the world.
They envy us and we often ignore them by looking for our favorite brand of junk food, arriving in the supermarket from miles and miles away.
Short chain of the Farmer Bus
A reality that passed from theory to facts, putting into practice all the principles of the short chain, is Farmer Bus. This vehicle started from Massa Marittima, traveling regularly, every week, through the Maremma countryside in order to connect users and producers, some scattered on the coast and some in the hinterland. On the one hand there are Follonica, Piombino, Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto, on the other, areas such as that of the Metalliferous Hills, less and less inhabited. Not only that, but with the reduction of waste in mind, this association wants to arrive at a planning of sowing and harvesting, to limit the production of surpluses to a minimum, and avoid having products that would remain unsold.
The short supply chain of the peasant van is a way to make producers and buyers collaborate, combining their needs and reducing costs and environmental impact of transport: it is a very short supply chain.
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