Real-time paddock to plate traceability in fresh food continues to gather momentum worldwide, enabling retailers, brand owners and exporters to build trust with consumers while mitigating risk if and when things go wrong. Consumers want to know more about their food and are prepared to make buying decisions around what they perceive as being open and honest.
Fresh Chain Systems is a fully integrated end-to-end traceability and consumer connection system that enables consumers to scan a unique QR code with any smartphone to access key product information.
“We want consumer traceability to be viewed as an opportunity for the whole fresh food ecosystem, an opportunity for consumers to learn the stories of our generational farmers, their passions, sustainable farming practices and what makes their produce the best in the world. An opportunity for farmers/growers to learn more about who their consumers are, what their consumers want to know more about so they can redirect marketing efforts to get people to eat more fresh food. Using just their smartphone camera, consumers can scan and discover things like the region, pick and pack date, the grower and the growing practices, whilst verifing a grower’s certifications that might be really important to them, be it Organic, Modern Slavery Act or other. The system can include product recipes, seasonal updates, storage instructions on how best to keep the products fresh and lasting or sustainability practices like recycling. These are all opportunities to leave their consumer feeling engaged and appreciated, leading to more consumption of fresh food,” explains Greg Calvert from Fresh Chain.
FreshChain gives growers the opportunity to unlock powerful insights into who their consumers are and what they want to know more about. Growers can use the system to test varietals, have their product rated or respond directly to customer enquiries as examples of what the system can enable. Data insights are incredibly powerful and whoever puts in the data owns the data and is only released to certified partners with their permission.
Exports in fresh food continue to grow and underpinning that will be ensuring Australia’s reputation as a consistent and reliable supplier of fresh and safe food remains. Export clients, especially in Asia are seeking greater assurance around product provenance and importantly mitigation systems in the event of food fraud or counterfeit. For this reason, FreshChain QR codes are unique, serialised and encrypted meaning no two codes are the same. If any suspicious activity, like the same code being scanned in multiple locations at the same time occurs our system locks those codes down so consumers will know their product hasn’t been verified and not to purchase.
“One of great things about chatting with farmers is they are straight up and you don’t need to second guess them.They have been very clear with us about what will be needed for adoption of any new technology. The system needs to be easy to use, needs to be effective and importantly low cost so that every grower has access to it, irrespective of size or current digitisation. We don’t want to only target the big guys, it would disrupt the system if the mid and small players couldn’t afford to participate,” said Calvert
“The heartland battle for retailers has always been leadership in fresh food and this provides an opportunity to further assure their consumers that the fresh food they are supplying is both safe and fresh. With the latest technology, the ability for every grower/brand owner to now have a digital consumer traceability and connect system is closer than anyone imagined. I think there remains legacy issues around it only being about cost and no way to get a return - this has changed and for those willing to have a conversation will have an opportunity to capture the next generation of people with money to spend,” Calvert noted.