New App Wants to Protect ‘Made in Italy’ Brand By Helping Consumers Spot Fakes

Aceto Balsamico di Modena - Made in Italy
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The “Made in Italy” brand is one of the world’s most recognized and coveted labels. Given this cachet, many manufacturers have tried over the years to pass off everything from olive oil to handbags as authentic Italian products.

Reliabitaly is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting/promoting the Made in Italy brand. Now the organization’s new smartphone app is aiming to help consumers figure out what products really have been Made in Italy and which ones are fake.

According to Reliabitaly, this organization and this app are needed for two reasons. “Reliabitaly allows you to easily and independently check if a product has been verified by our association and therefore if the product has actually been Made in Italy or not. At the same time, Reliabitaly allows Italian manufacturers to distinguish their own products from those products that are just ‘Italian Sounding.'”

Per The Local, “Italy has more products than any other country – 221 – which are protected by the EU’s geographic labels of origin (DOP), including buffalo mozzarella, prosecco, and Modena balsamic vinegar. Under EU laws, products receiving DOP status must be produced according to specifications and in the designated region – but this can be tough to regulate.”

Reliabitaly also states on the FAQ on its website that it is trying to combat Italian manufacturers that make a large percentage of their products in developing countries, while “finishing” them in Italy so they can apply the “Made in Italy” label.

I like the idea of this app. But Reliabitaly’s origins and motives are unclear. For example, the Toronto-based non-profit does not appear to be associated with the Italian Trade Commission or the Italian Ministry for Economic Development, though those government entities could stand to benefit from an app that promotes authentic Italian products.

Would you use Reliabitaly? Add your feedback in the comments below.

Last updated on November 19th, 2019

Post first published on January 27, 2017

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