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Remember that episode of Portlandia, “Is the chicken local?"
Leading actors Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein sit down to eat at a restaurant, inquire about the provenance of the poultry and end up on a farm in rural Oregon to learn every detail of their intended meal's life.
While this might seem extreme it's not so far from reality.
I know I want to know more about the brand I'm investing in, and apparently, so do you. 55% of customers want more information about where their food comes from: is the company using ethical practices when it comes to food processing and labor? Where and how is the food is sourced?
Thanks to location-based services (LBS) more companies are able to share detailed, end-to-end, information about how your food is grown, farmed and delivered.
Meaning you're less likely to end up on a farm, talking to chickens, like Fred and Carrie.
Soon, you'll have more than just a photo of the farmer who grew your coffee beans.
With the aid of location-based technology, Starbucks is making your customer experience more personal, and informed.
Responding to your requests for more information, the American coffee chain is using location data and real-time tracking technology, like our HERE Tracking and Network Positioning, to share the journey of its java. They're redeveloping their mobile app to include a digital traceability feature, which reveals your coffee's country of origin, the farm on which the beans are grown and how Starbucks is supporting the farmers in those locations. It also details where and when your beans were roasted.
“What we're still working on is interviewing coffee farmers in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Rwanda, learning more about their stories, their knowledge, and their needs in order to determine how digital traceability can best benefit them."
Mowi ASA, the world's largest producer of Atlantic salmon, wants to show you the people bringing seafood to your table. And, the life story of every fish it raises.
On May 22, 2019, Mowi ASA, and IoT platform EVRYTHING, launched the seafood industry's first end-to-end food traceability platform. The app offers full visibility into Mowi ASA-branded salmon production. And, includes the first mass-scale application of EVRYTHING's GS1 Digital Link, which transforms the barcode on their packaging into a data delivery device, making every product smartphone-interactive and web-connected.
This year, you'll find Mowi ASA seafood with the new GS1 Link codes on shelves in Poland, with more locations soon to follow worldwide.
“Consumers want to understand how the food they consume is produced and where it comes from. Mowi ASA is addressing this need by bringing greater transparency to the market. Think of it as we're opening our 'black box' to consumers," says Ola Brattvoll, COO, Mowi ASA.
Here's how it works:
EVRYTHNG collects data from salmon farms using different Mowi ASA production and supply chain systems. This data is integrated and structured for each salmon, revealing detailed information about:
Using a smartphone, you can scan the QR code on packaged Mowi ASA salmon to trace the cycle listed above.
“This is important for us strategically," said Brattvoll, “With the help of EVRYTHNG we will be able to forge direct customer relationships to build trust and ultimately grow sales…"
We've come to expect farm-to-table, but how about farm-to-phone?
Ever wondered what happens on a fish farm? With Mowi ASA's new IoT platform, you'll get detailed information on every single fish.
In a world where accountability is all too easily shirked, hidden behind online characterizations that do everything but offer accurate information, Starbucks and Mowi ASA are raising the bar.
Last year Starbucks partnered with more than 380,000 coffee farms. Mowi ASA harvested 375, 237 tonnes (GWT) of seafood in 2018. The launch of their new food tracking apps marks a significant milestone in the food industry and, I suspect, will have long-lasting positive effects.
As consumers, we want to know that the money we invest in a business, via their product, is being directed toward ethical practices. Brands, on the other hand, want to know more about the details of the journey of individual products, from processing to consumption. They want to know more about us.
While using location-based services and real-time data will inevitably tell companies, including Starbucks and Mowi ASA, more about our purchasing and eating habits, these apps will also let us know how companies are treating their workers, and processing our food. Information we can rarely access.
And, in the end, if we know that our buying behavior - influenced by sustainable and environmentally sound information - will encourage companies to further improve their food processing, farming and delivery practices then I'm all for scanning my fish and reading about my coffee before I buy it.