Members of the Happerley advisory board said they wanted to members to see ‘the whole truth’ in where and how their food is produced.
Food provenance organisation Happerley has vowed to put transparency at the core of its ethos in a move to work towards the creation of an independent member-owned entity.
As part of the move, the organisation will deliver ‘a credible body to validate, certify and promote provenance’ across the UK food industry in benefit of both the producer and consumer.
It came after its Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting last week (January 12) with members including Countryfile presenter and Gloucestershire farmer Adam Henson, chairman of the Defra Farm Animal Welfare Committee Peter Jinman and chief executive of Midcounties Co-operative Phil Ponsonby.
Mr Jinman, who is also a former non-executive director of Red Tractor Assured Food Standards, said the consensus across the board was ‘now very clear’.
He said: “There is both an urgent need and opportunity to empower consumers to know the journey of their food with absolute confidence, and for every business in that supply chain, from farmer up, to benefit.
“There is the will, the demand and the technology.”
Happerley founder Matthew Rymer said consumer confidence was often undermined by marketing, packaging and ‘disingenuous labelling’, but ‘turn provenance transparent and you have the currency of truth’.
Mr Ponsoby said: “We are not only facilitating technology pilots but we now plan to appropriate additional resources to deliver considerable consumer engagement in and out of our stores across our region in the months to come.
“Transparency is at the core of our ethos and we see considerable potential for this project.”
Mr Henson added: “The truth of all our food starts in soil or sea somewhere. The problem for everyone is that truth gets too often obscured by the time it reaches shelf or plate.
“These next months will be critical but there is a real sense now that the consumer wants to know not an interpretation of where and how their food is produced, but to see the whole truth.”