A lot of people will not have heard of the above word. It basically means the item concerned has clear evidence that it is what it says its is. For example, buyers of paintings will want to know if they are the genuine article, so they look for evidence through catalogues, letters, the painter’s style. We can now even do a forensic examination to check that the paint that was used was actually available at the time of picture’s creation.
Taking this to the selling of food, as mentioned in a previous post, it is possible to trace from creation to shop. But with many food products that contain a number of ingredients, that can be difficult. Take for example, sauces used in pasta dishes – there is tomatoes, spices, onions, and additives – all requiring sourcing. But, even if we can source all products, we also need to take into account if the product is grown organically and in a sustainable manner and takes into account the needs of the locals, the animals’ welfare is excellent (including being fed natural feed), whether the workers’ conditions (especially overseas) are ethical (in terms of pay and health and safety), the product is carried from source to shop environmentally (eg using non CO2 fuel obtained responsibly) and it is sold in containers and coverings which are recyclable.
All this information would take up too much space on a product, so there needs to be a different solution to also include health benefits/issues around intake of fat, sugar and salt as well as generally how much one should take each day, week or month. Therefore, what I would suggest is food suppliers provide a hand held scanner to use on a barcode which is linked to a continually update website identifying all the sources of the ingredients used, transportation methods used and effects on one’s health, along with the names of all the businesses used. This would help the shopper buy responsibly and encourage the supermarket or whatever to do the same.
One thing that would make things easier to source is local produce being bought instead of something that has to travel miles to get to the consumer.
One interesting development is https://www.provenance.org/ which has made a start in doing just what I have suggested but it does not have every aspect, but it is a beginning. I do hope all my readers will start thinking about the issue so that all the growers and manufacturers benefit as well as planet earth. It could also be linked to finding ways of reducing food waste.
So, for further reading, have a look at the following websites and articles.