Provenance is a word you probably haven't contemplated too much
It is however a word that I think we will be paying much more attention to in the upcoming months and years. Supply chains can be long and complex; and understanding where your T shirt, lamb chop or cotton sheets really have originated from is difficult to confirm even for the producer.
We are now in an age where the labour conditions, green credentials, use of pesticides and even country of origin really matter. An age where pharmaceutical companies are finding fake products in their own supply chain, where UK beef was found to include horsemeat, and extra virgin olive oil is cut with cheap inferior oil, how do you know what is genuine?
Supply chains are mesmerizingly complex and hence difficult to, monitor: a T-shirt sold in New Delhi might be made of cotton grown in India, blended with other cotton from Australia, spun into yarn in Vietnam, woven into cloth in Turkey, sown and cut in Portugal, bought by a Norwegian company and shipped back to India!.
Labels often lie. In 2016, Target carried out an internal investigation that led to a startling discovery: roughly 750,000 of its Welspun “Egyptian cotton” sheets and pillowcases were made with an inferior kind of cotton that didn’t come from Egypt at all!
Hence the growth in supply-chain forensics. Oritain is able to identify a distinct signature based on the geologically diverse nature of different regions of the world and understanding the precise mix of elements in soil and water for example, it can show whether the cotton is from Egypt or from Gujarat in India.
With the counterfeit food game now worth $49bn a year understanding the true provenance of your food, drugs and even clothing will become much more important in the near future.
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Author: John Pryor Exalt IP