“It's a step up from glyphosate-residue free; it's more broad. But we're also going into the area of enabling the brands to tell a better story in a simple way through both their testing, so the testing of their products and what contaminants they are testing for, and also showcasing all of those third-party certifications that they can't really showcase at the moment. So, it's a one-stop shop.”
Telling a better brand story with the help of QR codes
The Detox Project is tackling this issue by providing an easier way for consumers to look up all the claims associated with a product and for CPG brands to be more transparent about how they are looking out for their consumers, especially around harmful contaminants, Rowlands explained.
When it comes to demonstrating health and sustainability claims, CPG brands “usually can only fit one or two or three on the packaging,” which can leave off vital information about the product, Rowlands said. So instead of having all the certifications listed on the side of a product, consumers can scan a QR code on the packaging and will be taken to a landing page that lists out the certifications that the product has, he added.
"The whole testing world and the whole certification world has become a giant mess, let's admit it, and it's because of so many different interests involved [and] so many different consumer angles ... that it's become too messy even for the most diligent consumer to understand what the hell's going on."
In addition to simplifying the claims for consumers, The Detox Project can link the landing page to the product research that backs up the claims, allowing CPG brands to be more transparent with their customers, Rowlands said. The CleanScan certification is currently available for pesticide- and heavy metals-related claims, with others to follow.
“They don't have to claim everything, but they can claim the things that they're doing well. It's like if they're testing for pesticides, they can claim based on the certification that they're testing for pesticides. And we will also link through the QR code to the lab results, so it's complete transparency for the consumer.”
The Detox Project also leverages GoChain's sustainable blockchain technology that "shows a product from on the farm or in the sea all the way through to the plate, ... so you can follow the story of the product," Rowlands said. The technology helps "authenticate the certificates of compliance, which shows that a brand is certified" with the claim that they've indicated, he added.
Using the glyphosate-residue model to build out CleanScan QR
While The Detox Project is going beyond its initial mission of educating consumers on the health impacts associated with glyphosate residue, Rowlands hopes to use the same model to bring CPG brands into the CleanScan program.
“We're following exactly the same system as we did with glyphosate-residue free," Rowlands said. "We've already started to get early adopters with CleanScan in the first 24 hours, so ... within two months we will have them fully certified. And the same with glyphosate-residue free, we started in the first six months with say four or five leading companies, and that's how it took off.”