What’s more powerful than using the iconic, trusted FernMark to convey a New Zealand product? For many Kiwi exporters, it’s marrying that with a QR code to verify and trace the product’s country of origin.
FernMark Licensees can reinforce their New Zealand values and origins by including an adjacent QR code unique to their product range on packaging, collateral and product listings. The codes are produced by Trust Codes Limited – the New Zealand technology company behind this increasingly popular form of product tracing.
Marked on packaging and scanned simply via a device’s camera, it means consumers need not worry about downloading a special app to scan the code. Instead, they can quickly verify the product and FernMark Licensee’s status and be directed to a dedicated webpage to view further brand information.
“The FernMark has a strong reputation in export markets as a stamp of approval for New Zealand provenance products,” says Trust Codes Head of Strategy Emma Wheeler.
“Connecting a brand’s product to New Zealand by promoting its country of origin offers a competitive advantage in markets where provenance is a key driver for consumer purchasing.”
FernMark Licensees that use the QR code gain access to a dashboard with rich insights into their consumers. The dashboard displays data such as the number of QR code scans, where they were scanned (globally), and the type of device used, as well as the time spent on the associated webpage. All data collection complies with strict privacy rules such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Wheeler says the appeal for New Zealand exporters is the ability to enable transparency and traceability through a product’s lifecycle, a much richer form of brand and product storytelling. “Story-telling is crucial for consumer engagement but telling a data-driven story to consumers means an even stronger way to resonate.
The future of barcoding
While QR codes were more widely adopted in markets such as Asia prior to 2020, the COVID Tracer App has spurred on more mainstream use of this technology form in New Zealand. Wheeler says QR codes are increasingly being recognised as the future of barcoding.
As well as being the QR code partner of the FernMark Licensee programme, Trust Codes is fully compliant for data interoperability with GS1 New Zealand – the organisation that manages global standards and solutions such as unique identifiers (barcodes) and traceability tools.
As part of the FernMark Licence Programme, FernMark Licensees receive a unique QR code that enables their products to be trackable at a product level via the simple QR code solution (i.e., the same code for the entire product range). FernMark Licensees who are looking for more specific traceability may choose to upgrade with Trust Codes and experience the full capability of brand protection via item level coding. This means that every single item in a product range (down to individual wine bottles, for example) could have a unique code printed on its packaging.
Mānuka Health is an example of a FernMark Licensee that has upgraded its QR code functionality, and now has unique codes on each and every pot of honey. Not only is Mānuka Health protecting its valuable ingredient - Mānuka honey - but the upgraded QR code offers a way to connect to consumers on a 1:1 basis, in a contextual way. Mānuka Health also gets access to supply chain information, and more granular data such as the location of scan events.
The Trust Codes partnership also allows Mānuka Health to protect its brand from counterfeiters. Unique cryptography software in each QR code applies advanced algorithms to detect and predict fraudulent behaviour. Unique identities for each item enable a single product to be tracked through its entire lifecycle and for the brand to have protection, while having a direct line of engagement to the consumer.
To find out more about the FernMark Programme and the various QR code add-on benefits, contact FernMark Licence Programme Manager Jessica Guthrie.