Redwood City, Calif.-based YottaMark Inc. which has the HarvestMark traceability system, has announced a partnership with Fox Packaging to bring consumer engagement tools to mesh bags.

HarvestMark partners with Fox Packaging"We looked at several technologies and found that the HarvestMark solution was the most capable, trusted and suitable for our customers" needs," Keith Fox, president of Fox Packaging, said in a joint news release. "Growers don"t want to hire a Web team and build software. Our partnership with HarvestMark means our customers can focus on what they do best: bringing great quality, fresh produce to shoppers."

Elliott Grant, HarvestMark founder and chief technology officer, said Sept. 2 that the partnership will allow consumer to engage with produce suppliers who use Fox Packaging"s mesh bags.

"It is a good example where a partnership plays to the strength of both partners," he said. "Fox Packaging has a leadership position in premium mesh bags while HarvestMark will give those mesh bags new pathways for consumer engagement, providing consumers information and getting feedback from shoppers.

Fox Packaging"s mesh bags can now handle quick-response codes, Grant said, and that capability opens the door for consumer engagement.

HarvestMark partners with Fox Packaging"It is up to the produce brand to decide what the call to action will be," Grant said. "We see things like ‘scan to learn more" or ‘tell us what you think,"" Grant said.

Grant said the QR code will give consumers the ability to give feedback directly to the grower-shipper. In addition, the QR code also could give consumers information about the farm supplying the produce, recipe ideas or nutrition information.

Any produce supplier that uses the Fox Packaging mesh bags will have access to the HarvestMark consumer engagement capabilities, Grant said.

"This gives Fox something value-added to offer to all of their customers and we"ve made execution so simple that it simply a matter of telling us the (stock-keeping unit and the Universal Product Coade) and the user can come onto our site and upload the content they want," he said.

Feedback is by default anonymous, but consumers can elect to give produce suppliers their e-mail address. Grant said many consumers elect to be known.

"I see more produce brands thinking about consumer engagement and what their means and having these advocates and evangelists out there is a key part of the journey," he said.