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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe and this is MorningNewsBeat Radio, brought to you by Webstop, your first stop for retail website design services.

There is a lot of talk in the industry about appropriate levels of transparency, and how much information the shopper needs, wants and should have access to. My general feeling is that we should just make everything and anything available to shoppers – they’re probably going to find out anyway, thanks to the communications technologies that not only make such transparency possible, but inevitable.

An MNB user wrote in recently about a kind of model that he saw for optimum transparency, and I’m so impressed with the product and the process that I want to recommend that you check it out.

The company is called Terra Creta, and it specializes in traceable estate olive oil from Greece. I have a bottle in front of me of Extra Virgin Olive Oil that tastes wonderful – great when drizzled over a slice of tomato and mozzarella cheese, or just when eaten with a hunk of crusty bread.

But I’m actually more impressed with what is on the back of the bottle, as opposed to what is inside the bottle.

Every bottle of Terra Creta has a lot number, and you can go on the Internet – either from a home computer, or from a handheld carried into the store itself – and see what the company calls the product’s traceability tree. I can almost instantly get information about the packaging, the expiration date, and can get information about the various inspections the product has gone through. I can find out when and where it was produced and bottled, and I can the results of all the lab tests performed on the olive oil. I can even see a map of the specific field where the olive oil came from and watch a video of the process.

In short, it is utterly, completely transparent. No secrets here.

And it is very cool.

If you want to see for yourself, go to, and use my lot number: 21368. I think you’ll be impressed.

This is the model for 21st century transparency. Technology actually makes it fairly easy – it is a matter of will, not ability.

And in the end, I believe, customers will judge us on how transparent we are about all of our products and services, and how willing we are to open the knowledge circle so that every step of the supply chain is available for inspection and inquiry.

Will it be easy? Of course not. Will it be counter-intuitive for an industry that often has taken a “father knows best” approach to communicating with consumers? Sure…but if anything, that is why it is a goal worth pursuing.

For MNB Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.

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