Farmers to launch UK’s first universal food traceability scheme
Gloucestershire farmers, Matthew Rymer and Clifford Freeman, have devised the UK’s first universal food traceability scheme, Happerley.
The scheme is designed to provide farm to consumer traceability, empowering farmers to control provenance at the point of production and consumers to unlock the provenance story of their food with a unique traceability code.
Happerley’s website will go live on 19th February to coincide with the 15 year anniversary of the Foot and Mouth Crisis. Every UK primary food producer will be invited to create a free Producer Passport and profile and invite all intermediaries and retailers they trade with into a visible supply chain.
Producers will then be able to generate a traceability code online for every food batch leaving their holding. The codes will be validated through the food chain by participating intermediaries and retailers.
Validating the produce at every link in the food chain into one code accessed online or by QR scan at the point of sale is expected to reduce food fraud, reconnect consumers with farmers and validate local and production claims and premiums.
Rymer said: “Fifteen years after Foot and Mouth, the British farmer and consumer continues to be sold short by food processors, manufacturers and retailers working together to disguise and mislead on provenance and collectively collude in driving down farmgate prices.
“Until there is upfront consumer facing traceability on food packaging, on fresh meat counters and on menus to connect producers to the consumer, and empower the consumer to make considered choices, the future is as bleak as ever.”
A number of catering butchers and food experts have voice their support for the scheme.
Independent catering butcher, Ben Creese, said: “Until meat traceability can be universally audited by the consumer, all the intermediaries in the food chain are going to veer towards cost more than provenance. If Happerley can create a level playing field it will be a game changer.”
Jilly Greed, co-Founder at Ladies in Beef, added: “Ladies in Beef are pleased to support this initiative. The independent hospitality and fast food sectors are two areas where transparent honest labelling in the supply chain, including product origin, could make a huge difference in combating food fraud and misleading consumers.”