Tech Talk: Clear Water
Caroline Attwood / Unsplash.com
In a time when consumers are calling for the brands they love to practice transparency more than ever before, Mowi ASA (formerly Marine Harvest ASA), the world’s largest provider of Atlantic salmon, boasts 100-percent transparency. The Norwegian company—which produces about 25 percent of the world’s farmed Atlantic salmon, according to Chief Operating Officer Ola Bratvoll—recently partnered with EVRYTHNG, a software company with locations in London, New York City and San Francisco, to implement a technology that allows end users to see “everything” about its supply chain.
Each individual package of Mowi Pure product—the company’s premium brand—sold is assigned an Active Digital Identity™, or a QR code, which links the product to the EVRYTHNG Product Cloud™, an end-to-end platform that connects to more information about the product’s farm-to-table journey, including data about the sourcing, production and origin. To access this information, end users can simply scan the QR code using their phone’s camera, which will then redirect them to the Mowi app, available for download in Apple’s App Store or Android’s Google Play. The interface also permits end users to opt to receive related content, like recipes and coupons. And while benefiting end users by meeting their call for full transparency—particularly in an industry like aquaculture, which has countless documented cases of the excessive use of chemicals, hormones, pesticides and antibiotics in its farming and harvesting processes—the technology also benefits Mowi by providing the company with data on consumer behavior, allowing it to better target its marketing campaigns and boost sales.
Mowi first unveiled its end-to-end technology in 2018, but Mowi Pure only became available to consumers in the U.S. via Amazon Fresh in March; it originally sold in Poland. Nonetheless, the move to include this technology reflects a direct awareness and response to consumers’ needs, and it’s a move that may have inspired smaller companies in the same space to follow suit. Fishpeople, for example, a Portland, Oregon-based seafood company, also offers full transparency using a similar system, allowing customers to scan products’ individual QR codes for a full story on each item. This is a major step in the right direction for consumers, as 93 percent reportedly believe it’s important for manufacturers to disclose information about the origin of the foodstuff they sell—according to “The Transparency Imperative: Product Labeling from the Consumer Perspective,” a 2018 study by the Food Manufacturers Institute and Label Insight—and 74 percent said they’d switch to a brand that provides more product information than what’s on the label, a jump from 39 percent who said the same in 2016.
Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.