Ever wondered where the strawberry in your strawberry jam came from, or who cooked the tomato sauce you’re eating?
From today, in what is believed to be a world-first for a food manufacturer, buyers of Australian home-style jams, marmalades and sauces made by Adelaide Hills producer Beerenberg will be able to find out, thanks to the company’s new web-based Provenance Pathway, which allows its customers to trace the passage of their purchased product from ‘soil to shelf’.
The Provenance Pathway – a feature of Beerenberg’s recently re-launched website – allows customers to enter the barcode from their Beerenberg jar to find out further information about the product including a map of where the ingredients were grown, the date the product was made and even the name of the cook.
Beerenberg managing director, Anthony Paech, said the Provenance Pathway satisfies a growing desire for product and brand authenticity among consumers in an increasingly global marketplace.
“It wasn’t long ago that ingredients weren’t even listed on labels,” Paech said.
“That has changed dramatically as governments and consumers have sought to support higher health and safety outcomes.
“Increasingly, consumers also are questioning the source of the ingredients — spurred by those same health and safety concerns but heightened by the greater degree of cross border sourcing and awareness that food, health, agricultural and manufacturing standards can vary significantly between regions.”
Paech said companies which source and produce their food products in Australia enjoy a significant natural advantage in terms of their authenticity, which Beerenberg is committed to promoting.
“People ask more questions now before they make decisions about what they will buy,” he said. “They want to know where it comes from, what’s in it, who’s involved in making it and how it was produced. This is an opportunity for companies like ours.
“We pride ourselves on the naturalness, authentic flavour and texture of all our products and the move to enable our customers to find out exactly what’s in the jar takes our commitment to authenticity that one step further.
“Consumers buy our range because they want the home-grown, traditional values our products offer. Once somewhat unfashionable, our brand attributes today are a distinct advantage because people are now looking for a more personal touch in an increasingly disconnected world,” Paech said.
The website, developed by Adelaide-based Enpresiv, further backs the company’s connection with its market through a continuous dialogue with its customers via a blog, links to social networking tools Flickr and Facebook as well as information on local stockists.
The launch of the website and Provenance Pathway coincides with the roll-out of new premium look Beerenberg jars for its condiment and jam lines which have just hit supermarket shelves.
“Beerenberg products are well-known in Australia and quality airlines and leading hotels of the world for their premium taste and the move to a new jar is an opportunity for us to do our products justice by making sure the product looks as good on the shelf as it tastes!” said Paech.
“Our new jars provide a clean, contemporary look that really highlights the natural colour and consistency of the product.
“Glass is still a premium packaging product with superior preserving properties allowing the product to be seen by the consumer prior to its purchase – we have absolutely nothing to hide!” he said.
“We have always made our products on our farm in the Adelaide Hills and still cook in open steam kettles, a process which gives our products their home-cooked look and taste.”
Six successive generations of the Paech family have owned and worked on Beerenberg Farm — a working 100 hectare farm in Hahndorf, 25km from Adelaide, South Australia — since migrating from Germany in 1838.
A total of 52 products are made using traditional recipes with no added artificial flavour, colour or preservatives.
Beerenberg exports to 24 countries and is used by five-star hotels and leading international airlines, including Qantas.