We may have been slow off the mark here in New Zealand to adopt them, but QR (Quick Response) codes are finally making their move, popping up everywhere from outdoor advertising to shampoo bottles. Now, in a more ethical application of the technology, Kiwi company All Good Bananas has announced all its bananas will come equipped with a code, helping connect shoppers with the growers of their fruit — the first time the technology has been used in such a manner in New Zealand.
Teaming up with development agency Tomorrow, who assisted with the prototyping and delivery of a QR mobile website initiative, All Good is hoping the scanning initiative will help differentiate it from cheaper brands in what is a very crowded supermarket environment. By simply snapping a picture of the QR code at the banana bin with their samrtphone, shoppers can hear directly from the grower about their bananas, their farm and the benefits they’ve seen since joining a Fairtrade cooperative.
“People want to know where their food comes from,” says All Good director Simon Coley. “We wanted to connect them directly with the person who grew their bananas. To show, if they choose Fairtrade, that the bananas they put in their shopping trolley are making a huge difference for small farmers on the other side of the world.”
According to All Good, most banana plantation workers don’t earn enough to live and support their families. Some earn less that $3 a day. This hasn't stopped companies and supermarketsfrom making large profits form the bananas. To keep prices low – and profit margins high – farmers and plantation workers at the bottom of the supply chain don’t get much in return, creating pressure on the growers that culminates in lower wages, longer hours, and deteriorating working conditions.
Working directly with farmers in Ecuador, All Good is making good by offering farmers a lifeline through Fairtrade. This is made possible by an agreed stable price, which covers the cost of sustainable production and enables them to provide for their families.
This story originally appeared on Idealog Sustain