05 Sep 2019

How Video Authenticates Provenance

Provenance Food

Farm to Fork

When is a sausage not a sausage? And why can video help the true sausage vendor get the message through to a hungry but health conscious audience that his/her product is authentic?

The True Sausage Saga

If the national guidelines for minimum meat content define a true sausage, more than half of all UK sales are not up to scratch.

This is because true pork sausages should contain at least 42% meat or more, but if the packaging claims only generic sausage status the product can comprise as little as 32% meat – including the least nutritious and more gristly parts like ear, snout and cheek.

Why is this important?

The authenticity of an ingredient or the process of combining ingredients is the beginning of brand and a defining factor in pricing.

It’s not just important, it is crucial as a food differentiator.

Authenticity Jigsaw

This is why Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, an important EU food designation to protect against imitation and misuse, is so coveted.

In the UK, only 25 food and drink types have been granted PDO status, this includes Cornish Clotted Cream, Cheddar Cheese and Jersey Royal Potatoes.

There might be many different brands of Cheddar but the designation means consumers know instantly that the product is authentic.

It’s just one of the many precious pieces of the jigsaw that goes into food provenance.

And provenance is and will be increasingly important in the success of UK farming and food processing in the coming years.

Especially as we face a barrage of cheap imports after Brexit.

Every part of the food journey from geographical location to animal welfare and independent verification builds consumer confidence. This creates, on the way, trusted brands with a powerful backstory.

Why Video Works to Authenticate Provenance

But how can farmers, processors and retailers best show customers far removed from the painstaking work they undertake, what goes into making the perfect sausage?

It’s all about ‘show and tell’ to reinforce the message about the things that make each ingredient, each recipe, each process special.

Video narrative is an unrivalled medium to pick out the best bits of the unique food journey undertaken by those who care about getting great produce to the consumer.

Nowadays it’s not enough to do the hard miles of field to fork. To be successful the food needs to be tasty, authentic and scaleable, plus it requires a story that resonates with customers because it is true.

Video allows the buyer to see and hear and engage with the passionate producer in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

The viewers can get down to the farm at dawn to see the farmer milking his herd.

They can hear first-hand how much the cows and the land are part of his/her family’s past, present and future.

Provenance video like this one produced by Mendip Media for food services supplier Somerset Larder, provides the veracity that makes a difference to purchasing decisions. This whether your business is in the B2B or B2B market.

How to Make a Provenance Video

So what’s involved in commissioning a provenance video?

  • The starting point is to make sure the food you use in processing, retailing or hospitality is really worth shouting out. Truthfulness is at the very heart of provenance and fake news in this arena is quickly found out. Use other marketing differentiators if the quality of your ingredients or the robustness of the supply chain are not verifiable.
  • You’ll then need your suppliers to play ball. Whether they are farmers, fishers, small-holders, producers, processors, distributers; they are the ones that need to appear on camera telling us, the viewer, their food story.
  • And think of the time of year. Most great food provenance shots are filmed outdoors. It makes a difference if the viewer sees raw ingredients coming out of the ground, being picked or grazing on lush grass.  And if it’s a sunny day all the better. So harvest in early autumn is a good time to be out with camera and drone. A rainy day in November in muddy fields won’t cut it.
  • Finally, there’s the pack shot. This is the end of the journey. We get to see the food on the table and people enjoying the final product. Somewhere in the last sequences there will be branding overlays or shots of the food in branded packaging.


Food Provenance

Ready for the Roll

Give Them a Visual Hook

As passionate food producers and retailers know, aside from the food itself, visual stimulation and strong stories are the back-bone of communicating the offer to customers who have a wealth of foods to choose from.

This is especially true for B2B producers who are looking for larger contracts into the food supply chain.

If the customer asks where the sausage comes from, what breed of pigs were used in its production and how much meat it contains, give them the sample hot dog, show them the video and watch them buy.