Consumers have indicated they want to be more in touch with who grows their food.


“Local” has been a trend for a few years, and it seems to garner more attention each summer.


But how much effort will the value-driven consumer put into really finding out where his or her salads come from?


We’re about to find out thanks to a new program from Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co.


The major chain’s store brand of salads, Fresh Selections, this fall will carry a 16-digit code consumers can enter at HarvestMark.com to learn more about the salad’s origin, packing location, ingredients, and date and time the product was packed.


Redwood City, Calif.-based YottaMark Inc. owns the HarvestMark traceability program.


Traceability in the produce industry has largely been motivated by protecting consumers during a recall by getting affected product off the market quickly but also to protect retailers and suppliers during recalls so only affected product is removed, not all related product.


Even Kroger is billing this innovation as primarily a food safety tool for consumers.


But it could be more.


Consumers may really want to connect with who grows their lettuce.


Who knows? Maybe this will lead to a generation of consumers who learn fresh fruits and vegetables don’t really come from the local supermarket.

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