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THE NETWORK OF THE CHEMICAL-PRODUCT LABORATORIES OF ITALIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE. Dott. Raffaele Di Fiore. The creation of the network of laboratories (ReteLab).

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the network of the chemical product laboratories of italian chambers of commerce

THE NETWORK OF THE CHEMICAL-PRODUCT LABORATORIES OF ITALIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

Dott. Raffaele Di Fiore

the creation of the network of laboratories retelab

The creation of the network of laboratories (ReteLab)

  • The first laboratories of the chambers of commerce were created at the turn of the century (Messina - 1905, Trieste - 1906) with the aim of supporting the activity of the commodities exchange of the chambers, identifying the characteriscs of the products exchanged.
  • The labs eventually became entitled to carry out technical tests and analysis of different nature professionally, thus becoming a territoral reference and a support to both enterprises in the market and consumers.
the creation of the network of laboratories retelab1

The creation of the network of laboratories (ReteLab)

  • Driven by economic globalization, the growth in the volume of international trade has demanded the definition of clear-cut, reliable and more homogeneous rules, to satisfy the needs of correctness and transparency of economic transactions.
  • These rules should not inhibit businesses’ competetiveness but represent a tool enabling enterprises to operate correctly in the global market, and,lastly, protect the final consumer.
  • The Italian Chambers of Commerce have invested in improving quality of products and of processes as a competitive lever for the development of the Italian productive system and have, to this end, supported the creation of apposite structures such as RETELAB, (Rete dei Laboratori Chimico-Merceologici – Network of the Chemical-Product Laboratories).
the chemical product lab of naples

The Chemical-Product Lab of Naples

Having started its activity in 1938, the lab offers chemical analysis and tests as well as product and environmental certification for firms operating in different sectors: agricultural, industrial and commercial.

The lab is accredited SINAL with regards to the sectors including water, oil, wine, textiles, precious metals, honey, cheese, cereals, clays, soil types and compost. It issues and gives certificates recognized at national and international level for different products.

retelab sustains enterprises to step up quality

Retelab operates sustaining enterprises by offering a portfolio of different services such as:

  • a wide spectrum of chemical analysis and chemical-physical tests in some of the most strategic sectors of the Italian economy such as agrifood, textile, environment and jewellery;
  • activities aimed at the verification of the correspondence of the products to the standards fixed by national and European laws;
  • assistance in technical-promotional activities such as:
      • the correct interpretation of the results of the various lab tests;
      • coachingin the implementation of management systems;
      • consultancy/advice in critical aspects of transformation processes in the food sector;
      • help and information with regards to certification needed for exportation and importation.

Retelab sustains enterprises to step-up quality

quality and homogeneity

The quality and homogeneity of the services is guaranteed by:

  • The public nature of the labs, assuring that their activities are reliable because strongly orientated to impartiality and independence.
  • Accreditation of the labs to international standards which specify the requirements of competence and reliability of lab analysis and calibrations(UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025) proven by accreditation to certification bodies such as EA (European co-operation for Accreditation) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) relying on mutual recognition for analytical and calibration laboratories(MLA e ILAC arrangement).

Quality and homogeneity

organization and coordination of the retelab network

The work and functioning of the labs within the network is guaranteed by:

  • Unioncamere’s central coordination, by means of the role played by Dintec.
  • Dintec is a consortium between the Italian chambers of commerce and Enea (Ente per le nuove tecnologie l’Energia e l’Ambiente – Public body for new technologies in the fields of energy and environment ) for the promotion of technological innovation that coordinates activities, works as a secretariat and assists Retelab and also supports the chambers’ laboratories in their networking activities

Organization and coordination of the ReteLab network

organization and coordination of the retelab network1

The work and functioning of the labs within the network is guaranteed by:

  • The definition of specific agreements, also by means of “variable geometry” conventions depending on the different possible objects of the agreements. This allows:
  • To operate in a network logic, offering enterprises not just the tests carried out by the single territorial lab, but also those carried out by other labs belonging to ReteLab
  • To guarantee that the same tests are carried out at the same time in different parts of the national territory activating contacts with one laboratory which works as a desk office for the acquisition of samples.

Organization and coordination of the ReteLab network

organization and coordination of the retelab network2

Diversification of the context of activity (Retelab laboratories operate with regards to different types of product and on different levels);

      • Operating system platform (www.labcam.camcom.it; retalab@dintec.it).

Organization and coordination of the ReteLab network

examples of the activities conducted by the italian labs in the agrifood sector

Examples of the activities conducted by the Italian labs in the agrifood sector

Among the funding activities of the labs are the activities connected to issues related to food safety , which also concern the materials and containers which are destined to store foods or generally get in contact with them.

Knowledge of the composition of the materials in question, including new forms of materials, and, in particular, knowledge of the behaviour related to the interaction of foods to new substances / materials, is paramount for the food industry in order to make decisions connected to production. In the last years, studies are being made at scientific level to determine how to measure and assess the dangerousness of a determinate substance/material once it is introduced, may it be accidentally, in the food chain.

regulatory production rules

Examples of the activities conducted by the Italian labs in the agrifood sector(II)

Regulatory production rules

  • Excellence in the food sector, food products labelled
  • PDO (Protected designation of Origin)
  • PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)
  • are protected by means of regulatory production rules which discipline the production techniques and the area/place of production as well as the oragonoeleptic and physical characteristic the products must have

Mozzarella di Bufala Campana

slide14

Examples of the activities conducted by the Italian labs in other sectors

  • Feed
  • Packaging
  • Textile
  • Precious Metals
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Environmental Testing
  • Fuels
  • Pesticides
  • Microbiology
slide15

How to network: the key elements of the Italian experience

  • Geographical localisation: taking advantage of the geografical localisation of the labs belonging to the network (which are distributed on the Italian territory) it is possible to dispose of :
  • a network of “ desks accepting samples”, thus reducing the costs connected to expedition ;
  • contact points” on the territory which can offer consulting, marketing and technical support.
  • Specialization: Collaboration between the different Retelab labs is favoured by the different specialization the labs have and enables them to operate on different products/ sectors and on different lines of investigation.
  • Sharing of experience: Collaboration between labs allows the sharing of different experiences and of technical data connected to the testing of products allowing constant improvement of the service offered.
  • Rules: Definition of the rules of functioning of the labs adhering to the network (by means of the drawing up of a Regulation)
retelab activities for eu member states and non eu states

Retelab activities for EU Member States and non-EU States

Collaboration through partnerships to offer consultancy on specific issues to EU Member States and non-EU members by means of:

Services offered to enterprises:

implementation of management systemswith regards to the main international standards: quality (ISO 9001), environment (ISO 14001), safety at work (OHSAS 18001), social responsabilty (SA8000);

training/formation on requirements under EU lawin specific productive sectors (eg. agrifood, textile, environment, jewelery, etc.) to favour international trade;

support of internationalization processes: assistance in the correct application of EU law concerning product requirements.

retelab activities for eu member states and non eu states1

Services for laboratories, public national and local administrations

implementation of accreditation systems for calibration and analytical labs underUNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025;

  • define responsabilities, duties, authority for staff;
  • implement and mantain a quality system appropriate to the activities undertaken (Quality Manual, Technical and Management Procedures, Operational Procedure, Modules etc.);
  • rexamine requests, offers and contracts;
  • define criteria for the selection, acquisition of services and supplies;
  • cooperate with ones’ clients and manage complains when necessary;
  • manage non conformity adopting necessary preventive action and corrective measures;
  • improve sistematically one’s management system;
  • organise internal auditing procedure to one’s quality system;
  • guarantee staff’s competence and adopt adequate training programmes;
  • ensure suitability of working place and the correct management and calibration of setupe and equipment;
  • define and implement control measures for the quality of test results;

Retelab activities for EU member states and non-EU states

retelab activities for eu member states and non eu states2

Retelab activities for EU member states and non-EU states

technical trainingon different aspects concerning the carrying out of tests, quality, certification of products/services;

transfer of know how in interdisciplinary management of services and tests in a network context;

realization of Projects (national and/or comunity projects) particularly in with regards to: ensuring quality in trial methods; enhancing laboratory performance, etc.

The above activities could be implemented in collaboration with local institutions in order to enhance competence of local enterprises.

concluding

In this way, the system of Italian Chambers can dispose of a “quality network” which can contribute to improve the competetiveness of our enterprises, scaling up the way they are perceived on the market, whilst protecting the final consumer by guaranteeing the standard and quality of products in partcular thanks to:

the implementation of management systems with regards to international standards related to quality (ISO 9001), environment (ISO 14001), safety at the workplace (OHSAS 18001), social responsibility (SA8000);

the implementation of accreditation systems for calibration and chemical product laboratories with relation to UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025;

technical training with regards tothe carring out of tests , quality and certification of products and services;

Concluding

concluding1

Training in terms of requirements under European law with regards to determinate sectors (agri food, textile–clothing, environment jewelery, etc.) to favour international trade

Transfer of know how with regards to the interdisciplinary management of services and calibration tests with regards to the experience acheived thanks to the network.

The actions stated above can be taken, in collaboration with local institutions, in the various countries, improving skills to favour export of their products to European markets.

Concluding