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Truth behind food: New National Food Provenance Centre to open in England

The founder of the Happerley traceability scheme has said it was time to tell consumers ‘the truth’ behind their food.


Alex   Black

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Alex   Black
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New National Food Provenance Centre to open in England

The founder of the Happerley traceability scheme has said it was time to tell consumers ‘the truth’ behind their food

 

Increased transparency in the food supply chain would give farmers the opportunity to ‘shout from the rooftops’ about their high standards, as consumers look for more information about their food.

 

But most of the food industry was ‘being smoke screened’ with many companies not wanting to reveal all about their supply chain.

 

Food provenance scheme Happerley’s founder and chief executive Matthew Rhymer has said it was time to tell consumers the truth.

 

No excuse

 

Mr Rhymer said: “To those who say food needs to be cheap, that is not an excuse for a lack of transparency. Even the £3.99 chicken producer needs to tell their story. The consumer wants that choice.”

 

It came as it unveiled plans to create a national food provenance centre in England situated at Lock 29 in Banbury’s Castle Quay, Oxfordshire.

 

Every item of food or drink sold will have full traceability, with consumers able to scan a QR code and discover exactly where the core ingredients were from.

 

TV presenter and Happerley ambassador Adam Henson said the timing could not be better as people were ‘drilling into their conscience’.

 

“It gives us farmers a platform to shout from the rooftops about our excellent farming systems and to be able to get the British consumer on board by honesty and integrity,” he said.


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He added it was about providing consumers with the truth behind the sourcing, not telling people how to shop.

 

“If you want to buy strawberry jam from Spain that is fine but do not say it is from Herefordshire.”

 

China

 

And traceability could open doors into China, with Join In China, a Chinese food and drink agency, opening an exclusive partnership with Happerley.

 

Chief executive Qing Lin highlighted the growing middle class who were better educated and concerned about food safety.

 

She said the Chinese had historically been ‘very fond of Britishness’ and the technology could connect them directly to the producer.

 

“The Chinese are the most active online users in the world,” she said, adding the QR code gave them easy access directly to the source of the food in a format they already understood.

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