Copyright: ©iStock/Grufnar

These are typical questions of customers, which want to buy products consciously and selectively. Especially, within the food value chain, food retailers and consumers want to select products purposefully, based on relevant decision criteria. From where exactly is the product coming from? How is it produced and how is it transported? Is the product contaminated and are the ingredients without health risk? How does the company pay attention to sustainability and environmental compatibility? Which social and ethical responsibility is taken by the company concerning its local environment, suppliers, and employees?

Due to food scandals over the past years and reports about unfair conditions in production and with suppliers, trust in corresponding information disappeared. On the other hand, ethical products and social responsibility have increasing importance within the food industry.

It is precisely at this point that the innovation network “Trace+Trust” starts to increase the trust in the information of participating companies and products of the food value chain. Consumers (restaurants, end customers), as well as participants (from producers to meat traders and food retailers), should be enabled to get audited and forgery-proofed information about products (provenance, logistics, ingredients, etc.)  and participating companies and organizations.

For this purpose, 13 companies and organizations from Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, and South Africa joined forces. “Trace+Trust” will be managed by Euverion (network manager Dr. Peter Harnischfeger).

Today’s missing information about company and product authenticities will be developed, made available in a transparent and forgery-proofed way, and established as a new industry standard.

The cooperation network was now approved by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and is part of the central innovation program for medium-sized companies (ZIM), which supports SMEs and research institutes for the development and research of new innovative projects.