Why food and drink suppliers benefit from being transparent with the consumer

15/04/2019 - 07:59
More so than ever, consumers are interested in what goes into the food and drink they consume, writes Matthew Rymer, founder and CEO of Happerley.

This justified stance comes at a time where people are taking a healthier approach to their diet and in doing so, want to have proof of the journey the ingredients in their product has taken.

Reading a label in a supermarket or a menu in a restaurant isn’t enough evidence to demonstrate absolute provenance transparency. Take the 2013 horsemeat scandal, for example, where foods advertised as containing beef were found to contain undeclared horse meat – as much as 100 per cent in some cases. It had serious ramifications for food suppliers and consumers as a shroud of mistrust engulfed the industry, which has long been crying out for transparency.

More critically, it provided opportunity for further food fraud, reduced consumer confidence in food purchases and largely detached the primary producer from any value to be attained through provenance.

A system in which the consumer can trace a product’s ingredients from the plate right back to the field it was grown or reared in, empowers the customer with making informed decisions on the food and drink they choose to consume based on fact not fiction.

Through the use of technology, for instance, the consumer can scan QR codes on products that the supplier is openly transparent about sharing where it sources the ingredients from and, indeed, find the exact farm it has come from. This defeats the object of mistrust between the supplier and consumer as a relationship built around transparency and honesty is formed.

In fact, championing food provenance allows suppliers to stand out from the crowd as they can accrue, control and share intelligence of their ingredient supply chain to promote brand values.

By engaging with and validating their own provenance story, suppliers can also educate and inspire the consumer on the importance of transparency, ultimately developing and strengthening loyalty across its supply chain.

With this openness to share and promote provenance across it range of products, suppliers will naturally see an increase in customer loyalty and, in most cases, profitability.

Overall, by delivering a means for the consumer to view the validated ingredient supply network behind any food or drink brand, from a farm to a restaurant, consumers can discover the spectrum of impacts their purchase affects, providing reassurance, respect and trust across the industry.

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