Adiconsum is a consumer association – included in the national Register of Social Promotion Associations (law n. 383/2000) and recognized member of the National Consumer Committee at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development – with more than 38,000 members, created in 1987 by the initiative of CISL Trade Union. It is committed to consumer protection and the promotion of a sustainable and socially responsible consumption and operates in full autonomy from the political parties, the government and the Trade Union itself. It is established in all the Italian Regions with about 150 local offices, which provide consumers with information and advice. It is supported by the work of numerous operators and volunteers. The activity of consumer protection is carried out by ADICONSUM through the promotion of consumer interests within Italian and EU institutions, the provision of individual advice and assistance services directly to citizens and the carrying out of important education, information and awareness campaigns on various consumer-related issues. ADICONSUM also promotes a new way to conceive an effective consumer protection model, through the dialogue among the Social Parties (Bilaterality) because the defence of consumers, in ADICONSUM’s opinion, goes hand in hand with the safeguard of sound companies that act in accordance with rules and principles of the respective productive sectors. That is the reason why ADICONSUM has chosen to make agreements with national companies and business associations based on four main ideas (goal): information, education, shared activities and joint conciliation procedures, an alternative method of settling disputes between consumers and companies that, on 25 October 2011, was recognized as a best practice by the European Parliament on the occasion of the ADR resolution adoption. ADICONSUM is also member of the Italian Forum for Sustainable Finance and conducted numerous campaigns and initiatives on Corporate Social Responsibility.
Further, Adiconsum is an affiliate member of the BEUC, the European federation of consumer organizations (https://www.beuc.eu), including 45 well respected, independent national consumer organisations from 32 European countries (EU, EEA and applicant countries). Moreover, Adiconsum is member of SAFE – Safe Food Advocacy Europe, a non-profit independent organization whose goals are to ensure that consumers’ health and concerns stay at the core of EU food legislation and to strengthen the voice of the consumer interests in the civil society.
Finally, Adiconsum runs since 2006 the European Consumer Centre Italy that belongs to the EU network ECC-Net, jointly hold by the European Commission and the national Governments in all EU countries, with the aim to assist consumers in cross-border disputes.
As the project is strongly consumer-oriented, ADICONSUM will foster consumers’ involvement and engagement all along the project duration in collaboration with other stakeholders, in particular farmers and SMEs in terms of the co-design of new processes, business models and new logistics systems, ensuring a good balance in SHEALTHY multiactors approach. As consumer association, in WP2 ADICONSUM will actively participate in all the project phase in order to ensure the alignment of the project outcomes with consumers’ needs and expectations. In WP5, ADICONSUM will collaborate in the study of impacts of the combined mild technologies on the food compositional properties and sensory quality, including the analysis of consumer perception and acceptability through consumer panels/focus groups and testing activities. Furthermore, ADICONSUM within WP7 will contribute to and support all the communication and dissemination activities to stakeholders, in particular consumers and their representative associations in EU in order to engage and mobilise them as much as possible.