Oregon food cos. sign on to transparent supply chain initiative

Oregon food cos. sign on to transparent supply chain initiative

Today, the Provenance Chain Network, which I profiled last October, announced the support of major local brands, businesses and academic institutions for the newly formed Oregon Transparency Initiative. This project was established with the goal of making Oregon’s supply chains the most transparent in the world.

PCN is a Portland-based startup and was developed to solve some of the biggest issues in the modern day supply chain (like tracking pollution or labor) — and major companies are showing their support.

“People have the fundamental right to know the facts of the products they buy, consume and use,” said Jeff Gaus, co-founder and CEO of PCN. “Commercial transparency provides businesses with supply chain visibility and resiliency, enables simple and effective regulatory disclosure, and enables consumer relationships never before possible.”

The whole program is an outgrowth of the Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio, which was created in 2018 to try to make Oregon a hub for blockchain technology. The Oregon Transparency Initiative will first focus on Oregon’s vibrant food and beverage sector. A group of prominent Oregon companies are already committed to the initiative, including:

  • A to Z Wineworks
  • All the Farms
  • Brew Dr.
  • Country Natural Beef
  • Dutch Bros
  • Ninkasi Brewing Co.
  • Oregon Fruit Co.
  • Tillamook County Creamery Association
  • Yoshida Foods International

"As an agricultural cooperative, our nearly 80 farmer-owners provide the milk which makes our dairy products, so we know firsthand the value of engaging with our suppliers,"Patrick Criteser, president and CEO of the Tillamook County Creamery Association, told me.

OTI builds on Oregon’s long history of progressive thinking and major legislative firsts. Oregon was the first state to introduce universal mail voting, to recognize Labor Day as an official holiday, to levy a gas tax and to introduce a bottle bill.

In addition to the support of local food and beverage organizations, OTI has also earned the backing of Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, Portland State University, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. The initiative is also supported by Business Oregon, All The Farms, and my organization, the Technology Association of Oregon.

As consumers clamor for more information about the products they buy, and as brands seek increased efficiency and lower risk in their supply chains, transparency is becoming a core requirement for the future of every business. PCN’s long-term vision is to increase transparency across all industries, enabling consumers to make informed purchase decisions and have confidence they are supporting brands who operate in ways that are consistent with their personal values.

PCN leadership plans to expand rapidly into additional industries, including consumer packaged goods, footwear, apparel, aerospace and construction.

This is part of a regular guest column written by the Technology Association of Oregon in the Portland Business Journal.

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