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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Nov 22nd, 2022
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Genuine Way 2023: Conscious Consumption through Tech

Walfredo della Gherardesca, CEO of Genuine Way, gives us some insight into the core of his business. Genuine Way is a tech service provider specializing in the development and distribution of blockchain-integrated solutions for manufacturers of consumer goods in the food, fashion, cosmetics, and pharma industries.

Can you describe blockchain technology to us?

Blockchain is an online database that’s not centralized. It’s not held on a personal server, company server, or cloud, but is held on thousands and, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of nodes that offer the computing power necessary for the distributed ledger or database to operate.

This makes the database impenetrable for one single person or company and therefore removes all possibility of altering data or removing data from it. This kind of database is used to store information permanently and make it available to everyone. 

The world of blockchain started with the Fintech application of this technology with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. The underlying structure (which is blockchain) is very interesting. 

Many people started to study it and it became very disruptive in certain industries (retail and supply chain, administration, government departments, real estate…): Everything that pertains to transparency and knowledge of the supply chain and consumerism.

What is Genuine Way and how does it work?

Genuine Way is a Swiss company that was launched in 2019. It focuses specifically on sustainability. We focus on the supply chain but we source the information that allows us to verify the environmental impact of that item, with the goal of providing a high level of transparency to conscious customers.

The reason we do this is because of greenwashing. We focus on start-ups or small to medium-sized enterprises that really have come up with innovative ideas to reduce their environmental impact.

Who can most benefit from Genuine Way?

Any ethical founder or entrepreneur/company that’s created something innovative with regards to its sustainability but who’s struggling to make it known and to therefore see the competitive advantages.

Any customer who’s conscious about their choices and who favors transparency and knowledge first and foremost. Genuine Way can give them the incentive and excitement to change their lifestyle.

How do you define “conscious consumption”?

I’m in my thirties, and I can see a huge difference in trends in consumerism. The customer has evolved into realizing that personal taste and price are not the only drivers.

The new values that are drivers of consumerism are personal health and safety, the health of the planet and social impact, and the happiness of humanity.

These are becoming more relevant particularly with the millennials and brands these days are catching up with these new trends. 

When you talk of environmental sustainability and social impact, how does Genuine Way make a difference?

To give you an example, excellent quality olive oil in Italy is pretty standard in all supermarkets. In fact, we’re spoilt for choice. Choosing one over another isn’t really something anyone thinks about as they’re all so good.

However, if there’s a story behind one of the particular brands of olive oil, this can make a difference. One of our clients is the prison on the island of Gorgona, off the coast of Italy. The inmates actually make olive oil on the island which gives them some form of work and social purpose. Given a choice, and knowing the story behind the label, I know which olive oil I would buy!

Whether it be for social impact or environmental sustainability, we do the research, we verify all the concerned processes and technologies, we check certificates, and we document everything. We’re therefore able to provide the customer with absolute transparency on companies that are making an impact on both of the latter. We bridge the gap between the technology and the customer allowing for total conscious consumerism.

Tell us about your platform ITEMx® and how it works?

The platform is a SAS software that’s given to the brands. We interview the brands and get to know the product. Following a discussion with the company, we need to back everything up with documentation. This process usually takes three weeks to complete.

Once completed, we use the platform to notarize these documents on a public blockchain. From this moment on, there’s no way of changing the content, and it will be available forever. Hopefully the brand will stay with us for a few years and then we’ll be able to see the improvement in sustainability over time.

The platform then generates QR codes and the customer is, therefore, able to interact with the brand through these QR codes. This is how we try to keep the customer in the loop and make them aware of other brands that could be of interest.

What does the future hold for Genuine Way?

We’re soon to launch an App that will make it easier for the customer to see just how much of an impact they’re making.

Our immediate goal is to become the number one portfolio in the world of sustainable brands using blockchain. There are very few players in the field so this isn’t as challenging as it sounds.

By the end of 2022, we’d like to have over two or three hundred brands as then we’ll be able to create a solid ecosystem. This also generates a lot of traffic and a very substantial audience. If we achieve this, immense opportunities will open up for us; customers will be able to evolve through technology to meet the stringent environmental and sustainability goals that are now in place and which might save the planet as we know it today.

Genuine Way will be one of those tiny puzzle pieces that allow humanity to reach these much-needed goals.

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