Launch Announcement: Credence Claims Fails Series

Smart Trade Networks with affiliation with partner projects like BeefLedger Global has announced the launch of an ongoing series called Credence Claims Fails Series.

The Series will highlight where supply chain actors talk a good talk but come up short on the walk when it comes to providing evidence for independent scrutiny. The aim isn’t to say that the ‘hard work isn’t being done’; it’s to demonstrate how, regardless of the work that may be undertaken in supply chains, unless there is credible, transparent access to evidence for consumers at the consumer interface end, all that work is unrecognised and the credence claims open to doubt.

The Series kicked off with two examples.

Carbon Neutral Claims Called Out

In the first of the Series, beef sold in an Australian marketplace as “carbon neutral” is highlighted.

Big claims being made in Australian beef sector … consumers are being told they are buying “carbon neutral” product.

  1. There is zero evidence available.
  2. There is zero capacity for consumers to independently scrutinise the claims.
  3. This is a whole of sector responsibility. ⚠️

Beef producers and sector workers deserve more for their industry levies. They work hard to do the right thing, improve their processes, achieve consistent legal compliance and much more besides. Consumers should demand more.

It is little wonder that consumers are doubting the claims that are being made.

Grass fed Claims Exposed as Hollow

In the second of the Series, we set our sights on claims made on portioned beef sold in Australia’s Woolworths supermarkets.

Big claims are being made by the Australian beef sector here:

  1. The product is beef. The probability that it isn’t would on the face of things appear to be low.
  2. The product is Australian. No evidence proffered to corroborate this claim. Fail
  3. The product is grass fed. No evidence provided to substantiate this claim.
  4. The packaging uses 75% less plastic. No evidence provided, but the real question is: “less than what”?

This is an industry failure. Claims about robust traceability need to be demonstrated all the way to consumers. Otherwise the claims ring hollow.

Defensive Reaction Ignores a $3B Problem

For those who are bound to react defensively, on the back of the proposition that industry parties have worked hard over the years to improve things, the message is simple: insist on transparency so that effort is recognised and remove the persistent doubt. And if you don’t think there’s a problem about food fraud in the Australian food industry, and beef sector specifically, it’s worth noting the findings of a recent report released by researchers at Deakin University, as shown in the extract of the executive summary below.

We will post more comments about this report on another occasion.

The upshot is: A few logos are splashed around the packaging in the hopes that that’s enough to convince the unsuspecting consumer that the claims stack up. Sorry folks, not good enough.