Food traceability scheme Happerley’s blitz of restaurants across England has begun as part of a tour to promote the launch of its new “Gold Standard”.
“Gold Standard” produce is a marque Happerley accords only to food and drink producers able to name the exact sources of their core ingredients back to the primary producers.
Gloucestershire farmer Matthew Rymer launched the food provenance “passport” scheme in 2016 with the ambition to improve transparency in the food and drink industry including the eating-out market so ingredients could be traced from “farm to fork” both from an industry and consumer perspective.
“Restaurants are where we are going to accelerate our activity effectively,” said Rymer, who is chief executive of the scheme.
The public can access information about provenance though the QR codes that reveal a validated ingredient supply chain, appearing on more and more food and drink brands and on restaurant menus.
Happerley has embarked on a tour incorporating 40 feasts at “Happerley Transparent” hotels and restaurants from today 12 July.
Chefs who are passionate about provenance will create a menu for a lunch or dinner at each location.
Rymer told MCA: “We want to see restaurants, cafes and pubs all become Happerley transparent because they will benefit as much as [everyone else] from a level playing field that Happerley is striving for.
“It validates the premium of provenance to the diners whereas at the moment it’s he who shouts loudest or he who uses frilly words like local, or farm or fresh the most attractively that diners’ judgement is based on and that’s just not good enough.”
Celebrity MasterChef winner Phil Vickery was expected to announce the UK’s first national foodservice company, on 12 July – Creed Foodservice – whose customers include the National Trust and English Heritage – to take a UK sector lead by committing to working across its supply chain to delivery “Happerley Transparency” wherever possible.
Happerley England will open the first national centre for provenance at Lock29, Castle Quay, in Banbury, Oxfordshire next March – for “inspiring, educating and engaging consumers” with an auditorium and cinema, connecting them with the journey of all their food and drink.
Recognition of Happerley has increased since it launched a consumer campaign with The Observer three years ago, #namethatfarm, backed by a cohort of celebrities and chefs.