The Global Drive for Transparency

The drive towards transparency and traceability in the food industry is rapidly growing on a global scale. 

HerdX as a company and as a proprietary solution not only fits into this global picture but is a key player in the shift towards a more traceable and transparent supply chain. 

Consumer’s Demand for More

If you are reading this you probably already understand that the modern-day consumer is demanding modern-day information. It is no surprise that we live in a data-savvy, connection hungry world, and the food industry is no exception. The 2020 consumer at the grocery store (or at home on their laptop) or the Gen Z college student at a restaurant (or ordering food from an app) are both asking these questions: 

  • Does this brand align with my core values? 
  • Is this product traceable? 

In January 2020 IBM released an in-depth market report based upon a survey of nearly 19,000 consumers in 28 countries. This study tells us much about the demand shift of the 2020 shopper. 

“The modern-day marketplace has created a new generation of consumers that come with higher demands and bigger challenges that retailers must face in 2020, and the findings reveal major shifts in consumer buying behaviors that require a fundamental change…With cost no longer the deciding force for consumers, IBM recommends the following for retailers to regain competitive market share in new ways: Earn consumers’ confidence through transparency and traceability.’’

The report even shows that consumers are willing to back their demand for greater transparency and traceability by paying a premium. 

“71 percent are willing to pay an added premium – 37 percent more – for companies offering full transparency and traceability.” 

Vital Farms Validation

If you don’t believe IBM, the recent success of Vital Farms confirms it. Vital Farms, an Austin, Texas, based egg company started in 2007 with just 20 hens. In 2018 they had a market cap of $136 million but this July it soared to $1.6 billion. How did they do it? By promising sustainable practices and of course, full transparency and traceability

Vital Farms, as a brand, acts as the validator for transparency and traceability by providing a webcam set up in the field. The consumer can jump online anytime and watch the hens cluck around. This act of transparency and a “come and see for yourself” approach has developed consumer trust. This trust and core value alignment is what enables the company to have a 230% mark-up in stores such as Whole Foods. 

FDA’s Push for Traceability

The widespread drive for traceability is recognized and supported by multiple FDA initiatives. The United States Food & Drug Administration sees traceability as “critical” to the future of food safety. 

Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response – Food and Drug Administration Frank Yiannas states, “Advancing traceability will also greatly facilitate timelier root-cause investigations to learn more about how contamination occurs in order to prevent future outbreaks.” reference here

The U.S. FDA is joined by governments all over the globe who are diligently working to provide a new standard of Food Safety. 

HerdX Global Expansion

HerdX has been in discussions not only in the U.S. but in several countries including New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the UAE. Conversations have revolved around promoting producers from each country of origin on a global scale, telling the story of legacy paired with innovation for best practices and sustainability. 

HerdX tells this legacy + innovation story through our Taste of Trust program. HerdX is the only traceability company that has the patented HerdView system, which increases operational efficiencies for producers. This system carries a select piece of data from the farm that travels through every part of the supply chain, powered by blockchain, until it reaches the end consumer. The consumer is able to see a “Meet the Farmer” video, gain insights to the raising practices of their meat product, view verified marketing claims, and even see a provenance map of the supply chain. (click here to learn more.) 

Our Technology Bridge’s Gap

HerdX technology bridges the gap between the farmer and the consumer and fits this growing global demand for traceability. However, some countries have a more predominant need for traceability than others. The United Arab Emirates imports 90% of their food so it is no surprise that having verified, in depth information and provenance mapping is of high importance to the UAE consumer. The UAE is a leader in innovation and AI in the food-tech industry and understands this 2020 consumer demand shift. 

HerdX Founder and CEO, Ron Hicks, had the honor of meeting with Her Excellency Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister Of State For Food Security, earlier this year. 

The UAE has stated its desire to be a global leader in food security and traceability and HerdX is excited to help the UAE achieve this goal. This ambitious goal is outlined in a strategic plan with the focus on “enabling technology-based production and supply of food, promoting international trade partnerships.”  

HerdX Partners With Kestrel Global Ltd.

This week HerdX signed a partnership agreement with Dubai based company, Kestrel Global Ltd. Kestrel’s portfolio includes the launch of Tesla into the UAE as well as support to Virgin Hyperloop One, Joby Aviation, Edcast, Babylon Health, and What3words. 

Tom Hudson, Managing Director at Kestrel Global Ltd. states: “We are delighted to be working with HerdX on their expansion into the UAE.  At Kestrel, we are lucky enough to have worked with some of the World’s leading Tech companies on their regional expansion and pleased to work with HerdX on their next chapter. With the UAE appointing a “Minister for Food Security” and a “Minister of AI”, the vision of the leadership is very much aligned with the vision of HerdX.  We look forward to making that vision a reality.” 

In addition to high volumes of domestic red meat consumption, the UAE is among the world’s top tourism countries, attracting over 15 million tourists per year. In addition, the UAE will be hosting the World Expo in 2021. 

Harry Amos, Director at Kestrel Global states: “We love that HerdX can bring the healthiest, fully traceable, and best quality beef into the UAE and with the myriad of high-end restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, and burger outlets here we are expecting a positive response in the market.”

ABOUT HERDX: HerdX creates trust and transparency in the world’s food supply chain. We provide management tools for farmers, supply chain traceability, and connect consumers back to the farm.