Dunedin meat processor Silver Fern Farms is introducing new retail packaging in New Zealand and overseas, to allow consumers better access to proof of origin of the product.
Chief executive Dean Hamilton said the investment in traceability would support the growth of the company’s Silver Fern Farms branded products.
“We want to deliver transparency in the food chain for our consumers who are increasingly interested in knowing where their food has come from and that their food has been produced safely, with care and in a sustainable way.”
The new packaging would contain a unique, fraud-proof QR code on every pack. Consumers could scan the code to verify it was a 100%-authentic SFF product.
It would show which region in New Zealand the product came from, link the consumer to stories of SFF farmers in the region, as well as recipes for the specific product purchased, he said.
Secondly, SFF had been working with Dunedin origin verification company Oritain for more than three years to develop a scientific traceability system for its products.
Through linking with Oritain, new SFF retail packing would be able to provide “absolute confirmation” to the consumer the product was true to the company’s 100% made in New Zealand commitment, Mr Hamilton said.
“We’re excited by these new and innovative consumer-facing traceability developments and the further trust this will build with consumers of SFF.”
General sales manager Grant Howie said investing in robust systems through the supply chain was becoming crucial for food products.
SFF could imagine a time when premium consumers would want to know how a farm was sustainably operated, what care had been provided to the animals and the environmental aspects of the farm.
The vehicle for that information was likely to be Farm-IQ, the online central information hub SFF developed in a primary growth partnership with the Government and Landcorp, he said. More than 1400 New Zealand farms were now using it.
SFF had invested more than $5million in the last seven years in developing the software, he said.
“We’re pleased to see the broad industry uptake.
“Allowing a consumer of our product to look into information from a farm that grew the product will provide the next level of food trust and authenticity with our brand.”