Zero kilometer products: what they are

I zero kilometer products are those found directly in the production area, with direct purchase from the manufacturer and short supply chain. There is no passage of intermediaries between producer and final consumer. Let's find out better.

> What does zero km products mean

> The philosophy behind it

> How to buy zero km products

Zero kilometer products: what they are

Origin of the name

The term "zero kilometer" in the agri-food sector begins to be in common use in the years between 2004 and 2007, when the media devote some attention to the social phenomenon which, developing in that period, sought to emancipate itself from the chain of large distribution to create csustainable purchase analyses at an environmental level, conscientious towards the health of consumers and economic for their pockets.

The name km 0 it alludes to the number of kilometers that the product should travel to reach the consumer, thus focusing on the cooperation of local producers, on the link with the territory, the rediscovery and protection of local products and ancient flavors.

Another comparable espresso is short supply chain, understood with the meaning of direct purchase, with as few steps as possible between those who produce and those who buy and consume the fruit and vegetable product. In contrast we find the long chain of large-scale distribution (GDO) with many steps (wholesaler, platform, retail store) that take place from when the product is harvested in the farmer's field to the final consumer's table.

The 0 km products are essentially fruit, vegetables, legumes, milk, eggs, wine, meat, cereals and other agri-food products, even if over time the genres are expanding beyond food products (eg: holiday packages in km 0).


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Zero kilometer products: what they are


Philosophy of zero-kilometer products

Unlike the markets linked to large retailers, which often also cause great waste and great costs, the "zero kilometer" market has various positive aspects:

  1. Abatement of pollution and waste: use of fuels and the resulting emissions limited to a minimum thanks to reduced travel. This also involves less use of packaging and storage systems (such as cold rooms) and packaging.
  2. Quality: the products are always local and always fresh, guaranteeing the absence of products grown in foreign countries with poor quality controls.
  3. Territory and tradition: direct knowledge of producers, collaboration between producers and consumers, possibility of visiting and controlling companies, direct involvement in social activities and development of interpersonal relationships, as well as the recovery of flavors and tastes typical of traditional local foods and recipes.
  4. Cost reduction: the absence of intermediaries between producers and consumers and the reduction of shipping and fuel costs allows you to spend less.


In practice, how to buy products at Km 0

The success of zero kilometer products has awakened people's interest in social agriculture and related projects.

This has led to the adoption of more ethical and green-conscious behaviors even by the names of large retailers, so much so that we can find zero-kilometer ecological corners in many supermarkets.

Currently in the country various regions adhere to Coldiretti's proposals for the promotion of zero-kilometer markets, passing laws in this regard.
This type of shopping, as well as in local farmers' markets, finds its development in the Solidarity buying groups (GAS), precisely because of their aggregative form based on several people who order directly from the producer, creating networks of relationships of trust and mutual support.

A last way to find Km0 products consists in a direct point of sale (farmer market) that the agricultural entrepreneur opens in his own.

Obviously, the range of products that can be offered with this system cannot be as varied as that of supermarkets being limited to territoriality: we could never consume oranges in Val d'Aosta or radicchio di Treviso in Calabria. On the other hand, by buying fruit and vegetables at Km 0 we will support local food producers and encourage consumers to be more careful and more aware in their purchases.

Also the products consumed will be very fresh foods, genuine, traditional and above all they will respect the seasonality that during the entire annual cycle gives in its crops all the nutrients and beneficial substances to keep our body in excellent shape depending on the place of origin.


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