Growers are using barcodes and other mobile technology to draw more customers.
Though farmers are associated with tradition, they are also among the first to embrace technology that is proving itself effective for efficiency and profitability, and in this, they have become some of the most creative QR code users.
Dewey Square farmers market in Boston and spray painted cows are only some examples.
At this particular market, the farmers have been able to use quick response codes and mobile technology to help to inform their customers as well as to accept a broader range of payment forms, so that they aren’t limited to cash only business.
Now, shoppers at the popular farmers market can use their smartphones to scan a QR code printed on the display for a bunches of carrots, stacks of cherries, or boxes of leafy greens, for example, and can track the origin of the produce before they make their purchase. The farmers have discovered that by integrating this wireless technology into their displays helps consumers to develop a local connection with the food that they buy.
Moreover, it is helping farmers to establish virtual marketplaces over the internet.
Dozens of farms across Massachusetts can connect with the consumer through a simple QR code scan, allowing those individuals to broaden their knowledge and their purchases from the online sphere.
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Similarly, Waitrose, a U.K. supermarket chain is working with pork farmers with a new QR code label that will be added to pork products as of July 4 as a part of a broader campaign to promote pig welfare standards. The company chooses only supply farmers that raise their pigs outdoors and that rears them in airy and light barns with clean straw bedding.
Shoppers will be able to use their smartphones to scan the barcodes to learn more about the welfare conditions of the pigs that were raised for the pork products being sold, in addition to cooking tips and recipes.
On a smaller scale, dairy farmers in both the U.K. and in France have been spotted with spray painted cows (using a non-toxic chalk-based paint) that feature a QR code on their side, to build awareness about their products.