Monday, April 15, 2024

AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight: Certified Origins

Certified Origins, an AOCS Corporate Member, aims to contribute to people's enjoyment and health through good food: the kind made by using wholesome, sustainable, and genuine ingredients.

In this spotlight, Marco Reyes, US-based Quality Manager, shares what, in his view, makes Certified Origins an innovator and leader in the private-label food space. 

What type of products/services does your company provide?

Certified Origins emerged in early 2000 from a collaborative effort between two large cooperatives of Tuscan olive farmers and a globally oriented partner with a passion for producing fresh, authentic extra virgin olive oil. 

Since then, the company has become a global leader in private-label Extra Virgin Olive Oil and traceable food programs, such as Pasta Sauces and other staple ingredients part of the Mediterranean diet.

We have offices in Mexico, the USA, China, Italy, and Spain. Thanks to a diverse and dynamic team, multiple production facilities, and an efficient distribution network, we take pride in providing excellent products and tailored services to our retail partners. 

In 2023, we established our first U.S. bottling facility in the City of Newport News, Virginia, to better serve the North American market and mitigate freight's economic and environmental impact on our supply chain.

We are still cooperatively owned today, and we source directly from farmers in the Mediterranean. 

What differentiates your company from companies in the same space?

Operating with a high-value ingredient like Extra Virgin Olive Oil requires an exceptional focus on quality and traceability. 

From its foundation, Certified Origins has leveraged the company's cooperative spirit to extensively invest in technologies, research, and certifications. This investment is aimed at ensuring the traceability, monitoring, and verification of our supply chain, from the farm all the way to the retail shelf.

Some of our projects are 

Our EVOO supply chain is ISO 22005 certified, a voluntary third-party control program that focuses on traceability, food safety, and quality standards. This certification contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 3. 

The NMR (Nuclear Magnetic resonance) technology allows the identification of EVOOs related to specific production areas and olive cultivars. Certified Origins has built with time a sizeable private database of unique «fingerprints,» which includes more than a thousand different origin olive oils and is now able to provide scientific support to the authenticity of an EVOO. Each year, the database is increased by about one hundred samples to improve the accuracy of the results further.

The BLOCKCHAIN technology builds a series of virtual, incorruptible ledgers interconnected and distributed across the supply chain. Each participant in the value chain validates the data previously entered by the other actors. This technology drastically reduces the risk of a single entity manipulating the sourcing and origin information. A traceability system based on this technology adds further layers of transparency and buyer guarantees.

What are some recent innovations your company is most proud of?

We have state-of-the-art, 4.0 production lines for traceable extra virgin olive oils. Using innovative Internet of Things (IoT) technology frameworks, we achieved optimal supply-chain efficiency, consistent quality, and dynamic production and delivery services monitored in real-time.  

What do you think will be the biggest challenges for your company next year?

Like almost every other company in the food space, our sourcing and distribution operations have been impacted by the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and global political instability. 
The effects of the substantial drop in production in Spain for two years in a row and the disruption in ports and logistics have created a challenging market situation.

Why is Corporate Membership important to your organization?

By joining AOCS, we want to connect with other experts and businesses in our industry, stay updated about trends, and contribute with our experience and shared vision on the future of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and food supply chain traceability.

Learn more about AOCS Corporate Membership.

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