I admit, I’m a lazy consumer. Even though I ‘m super interested in the origin of the food I feed my family with (want it to be local, organic, tasty etc.), I still give in at the store running at a tight schedule with my two kids and end up buying something semi-ok unaware and blind of what nasties I’m carrying home.
I want to know some basics – such as: in early May is it best to buy the Spanish tomatoes or Finnish organic variety considering all the ethical and environmental facts behind. I could spare a moment or two at night after kids are in bed to digest this information in bite sized chunks with clear guidance what to choose in order to be on the safe side with all the considerations. Also in the store I could sneak a peek at my cell phone application to find out some facts. I want someone to create a service that guides me gently with these choices! Hey, wait a minute, why don’t I do it myself?
The origin of the food we eat every day has started to interest more and more people. It’s not any longer about marginal group of very aware individuals that think twice when shopping for groceries. People want to show their values through their choices in the supermarket and restaurants. In order to make choices according to their values, people need more information. Information in any type of format is not good enough. Who has the time to read article after article about the different dimensions of sustainability and ethics of food and then make up their mind about each and every food item? Think about just buying fish for Saturday dinner. Would you choose the type of fish that has the lowest level of toxic dioxins, the fish that has travelled the fewer miles, and the fish species that is not endangered? You see where I’m getting at – endless choices and endless number of parameters one should keep in mind at once. The average consumer (count me in) is lazy. “Virtual chain from field to your plate“- project is going to help make these decisions with more ease by offering the expert verified and peer reviewed information in a fast, clear and visual format at the point of purchase as well as possibility for a clear but more in-depth online search.
The project so far has shown that there are endless possibilities to tailor this type of online service to meet various consumer needs in the environmental and ethical sphere. Now the task is to focus on the most effective, most bullet-proof solutions that work in practice and truly help the consumer in the everyday situations.