Silver Fern Farms is investing to link consumers of its premium retail products back to the farm.
The company’s chief executive Dean Hamilton says the investment in traceability will 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 investment is across our chain of care and in linking those elements together,” he says.
“Our new retail packaging that is being progressively rolled out here and overseas will have two new traceability features. Firstly, the packaging will contain a unique, fraud-proof, QR code on every pack. This will allow the consumer to scan the code to verify that it is an 100%-authentic Silver Fern Farms product. It will show which region in New Zealand the product came from, link the consumer to stories of our farmers in that region as well as recipes for that specific product that has been purchased.
“Secondly, we have been working with New Zealand-origin verification company Oritain for over three years to develop a scientific traceability system for our products to provide proof-of-origin certification for our consumers. Through linking with Oritain our new retail packaging will be able to provide absolute confirmation to the consumer that the product is true to our ‘100% made of New Zealand’ commitment.
“We’re excited by these new and innovative consumer-facing traceability developments and the further trust this will build with consumers and Silver Fern Farms.”
Silver Fern Farms general manager sales Grant Howie says investing in robust systems through the supply chain is becoming crucial for food producers. Ultimately, he says, the company would like to provide traceability from the consumer to the individual farm.
“We’re investing now to create that opportunity in the future. We can certainly see a time when premium consumers will want to know how that farm is sustainably operated, what care has been provided to the animals, and the environmental aspects of the farm. The vehicle for that information we believe will very likely be FarmIQ – the online central information hub we developed in a Primary Growth Partnership with the Government and Landcorp,” says Howie.
“The use of the FarmIQ platform is growing strongly amongst New Zealand farmers, with over 1,400 farms now using it. Silver Fern Farms has invested over $5m in the last seven years in developing the software and we’re pleased to see the broad industry uptake. Allowing a consumer of our Silver Fern Farms product to “look into” information from a farm that grew the product will provide that next level of food trust and authenticity with our brand.”