Useful Information Technology

At work we have an organic fruit basket. The other day I grabbed a grape fruit. I noticed that there was a sticker on the fruit, something I don't usually like, but this one caught my eye. It was a picture of a smiling man and the text "enter 450 at natureandmore.com". This got me curious so I had to do it.

I was greeted by a flash interface where I could enter the three digit code and then hit enter. This took me to a presentation of the farming community that grew the very fruit I had in my hand. In a video one of the farmers talked about the community (I think, I don't understand Spanish). The feeling of authenticity is excellent.

The site was created to increase the transparency between the producers and the consumers of organic produce. This have certainty succeeded. It feels good to get to know something about the farmers from the other side of the world, in the same way as the local farmers when I go to the Farmers Market. It is also great to see that the choices that we make when buying fair trade and organic actually makes a real difference.

This is one of the best ways I have seen to utilise the Internet and Information Technology. It so brilliant because it uses simple concepts to deliver answers to quite complex questions around the environmental and social impact of our food choices.

The only real critique I have is of a technological nature (of course) and has to do with the choice to use flash as the technology that welcomes the user. I am not a big fan of flash and especially not when it is so easy to replace it with normal HTML. To complete a HTML form would have been just as easy and much more elegant in my opinion.

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  • Dear Tomas,
    It was a great pleasure to read your blog especially because all of us at Nature & More (including many growers around the globe) are trying to achieve what you describe ! We hope you continue to enjoy the organic and fairtrade products from these committed growers !
    Michaël Wilde (Nature & More)

  • robvangijzelen

    TOMAS THX FOR THE FEEDBACK.
    I'M THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR ON THE NATURE & MORE PROJECT.
    I'M CURIOUS HOW YOU SEE THE RELATION BETWEEN A SIMPLE STAMP (LESS PACKAGING,LESS ADVERTISING ETC) AND THE GROWER (YOUTUBE)
    WE ARE TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO CONNECT THE CONSUMER WITH THE "GOOD " GUYS. GROWERS.
    IF WE CAN SOLVE THIS WITH MODERN "CLEAN" TECHNOLOGY (WEBBASED) IT WILL OPEN A NEW WORLD.
    I AM GOOD IN VISUALISING STRATEGY AND WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE "GOOD" GUYS AT NATURE&MORE IT'S FUN TO WORK ON THIS PROJECT.
    GET CONNECTED.
    GRT ROB VAN GIJZELEN

  • tomasmalmsten

    I think that what you have achieved with the web site and the stickers is a really good way to to connect the end consumer with the producer. Adding the full supply chain into the mix would make it even better.

    At home we get our fruit and vegetables from a company called Mossagården. The are both growers and suppliers of fruit and vegetables. We get a delivery every week and with it comes a news letter. In it they usually tell about from where, and also how, the produce has come here. This winter we have been receiving a lot of vegetables from Italy. They have all been shipped by train.

    This kind of information is interesting to have. But it is also important to know in order to put pressure on the sellers to improve the over all environmental foot print.

    To use the technology that the social web is using to connect the whole supply chain with the consumer would make a real difference and would probably the next step in an initiative like Nature and More.

    I hope that this is of use to you and that it goes well and develops to something even better then it is.

    Regards
    Tomas Malmsten