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A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try out the new gourmet food hampers from Beston Marketplace and their companion app, Oziris.

Beston Marketplace is an offshoot of the Beston Global Food Company, which is based here in South Australia. “BGFC has been established to invest in a selected portfolio of food and beverage businesses, and related assets, in Australia and globally. We will operate as a branded food company that invests primarily in family or privately owned entities to help them realise their global potential.”  – BGFC website.

The online marketplace is bringing together all the brands that come under the Beston Global Food Company umbrella, and making them available for purchase and home delivery.

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Ordering Process:

Currently, Beston Marketplace has the option to choose from four different food hampers, however in the future they will be expanding their range to include individual products, as well as a wider range of hampers.

The ordering process was very simple and I was able to use my credit card to make the payment at the end. One problem I ran into was that you need to create an account and you cannot progress until you set a ridiculously complicated password. There is no way I can remember a password that has to be 7 characters long, have uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as characters such as ! ” ? $ % ^ & ). I spent about 5 minutes trying to think up some variation on my usual password that satisfied the requirements, and ended up emailing it to myself so I would be able to recall it if I needed it again.

Once I placed my order I received email confirmation which included a copy of my order details. Delivery of the hamper was a $10 flat fee. I ordered on Wednesday morning and delivery was estimated for Friday, although it didn’t say this anywhere on the email confirmation, only during the ordering process on the website. For a food delivery I do think it would be good to be a bit more specific with the delivery time, especially if it’s for a party or an event where you need the items to arrive fresh for a certain day. Delivery can take up to 5 days to Perth, for example.

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Delivery:

On Thursday I received almost an exact copy of the confirmation email, except it said that my order was complete. I wondered whether my hamper might turn up a day early, but a few hours later I got an email that said delivery would be the next day, between 7am and 2pm. If you are not home, the courier will leave the box in a secure location, and you can add instructions to your order, if you live in a gated community or apartment block etc. I definitely prefer to have packages left at my door, so I was grateful they could deliver while I wasn’t at home.

The order was packed very carefully, with none of the products in danger of being damaged, and the salmon was surrounded by ice packs and wool insulation. It was quite a big box for what came packed inside, but the packaging kept everything in perfect condition.

The box was sealed and came with the Oziris QR code label across the packing tape, but when I scanned the code it said it was not a traceable item. I’m not sure if this is going to be something that will be activated in the future, but for now it’s not linked to anything (more info in Oziris, below).

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Products:

Included in the salmon hamper was 3 200g portions of Woodbridge Smokehouse smoked salmon, 2 100g boxes of Tuckers Natural crackers (only 1 box is listed as included on the website), a 250g jar of Beerenberg seafood sauce and a 200g block of Edward’s Crossing cheddar cheese.

I found the selection of products in the salmon hamper to be a bit of an odd mix. I love smoked salmon so I was really excited to try the hot and cold smoked items from Woodbridge Smokehouse. However, I have never seen smoked salmon served with seafood sauce or crackers. I did try a bit of the sauce with a slice of cold smoked salmon, but I felt that it overpowered the delicate flavour of the fish.

I ended up eating the hot smoked salmon with avocado on toast, and added half to a tabouli salad for lunch on Monday, which was absolutely delicious. I used the cold smoked salmon in a dish of scrambled eggs and spinach, and left the seafood sauce and crackers for another time. The cheese was also tasty, but we ate it separate to the salmon.

Of course there is nothing wrong with including items that can be enjoyed at different times, I just assumed that you would put it all together, which I have done for the photo below, to create a gourmet platter. What would I include instead? Perhaps instead of the seafood sauce, I would add some of the Tuckers fruit paste and a jar of antipasto veggies, or even a dip, so that the salmon could accompany a more complete cheese platter.

The cost of the hamper was $79, which I did find expensive for what arrived. The website says that it is $20 cheaper than retail, however I added up the cost of each item’s RRP and found that the total cost, including the extra box of crackers, was $72.15. I understand that there are overhead costs involved with a delivery service, but the site does say that the hampers are cheaper than retail price, and you are paying a $10 delivery fee, so not quite sure how that all comes together.

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Oziris App:

When I first received the invite to download the Oziris app (once I had placed my order), I took it to mean that I could track my delivery and see exactly when it would arrive, but that is not what Oziris is about. The Oziris app tracks where your food item has come from, ie, where it was produced and the route it took to arrive on your table. Why would you care about all the stops your food made on its way to you? Well I didn’t know this either, but according to the Beston Global Foods website, food counterfeiting is a thing, especially in China.

“Food product counterfeiting worldwide is currently worth an estimated $US1.7 trillion. It is clear to us that consumer concerns about food safety and authenticity will become an even bigger issue in the future, as global demand for food continues to outstrip supply.

“The World Health Organisation had issued a warning that unsafe food is a growing global threat.  It stated that food production and distribution has become more industrialised in response to rising demand, and its trade and distribution has become more globalised, which has introduced multiple opportunities for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals. ” – BGFC website.

Just the other day I saw a news item about counterfeit wine in China and how Australian producers were addressing the issue with scannable ink and wax used in the wine’s packaging. On arrival the retailer can scan the bottles to be assured that it is a genuine product, and that their customers are getting the quality that they are paying for.

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Perhaps it’s not an issue for us here in Australia as we are spoiled with produce that arrives in our supermarkets, and in our homes, we know is what it claims to be. I’ve never been worried that my food or drink is anything other than what it says on the label. But if this is a problem in the wider community, then I think it is wonderful that the Oziris app (which also comes in a Chinese language version), is addressing people’s concerns and offering them peace of mind that they are getting what they expect from a trusted brand.

It is also a great assurance for Aussie producers, they can export their products and know that their end customers are experiencing the high quality that is expected from Australian made items. Once a product leaves Australia it’s hard to know what happens to it next, but with Oziris everyone can be sure that it arrives safely at its destination, and it has indeed come from where it claims to have been produced.

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Simply download the free Oziris app, scan the QR code, at home or in the supermarket, and you can see exactly where the item has come from.

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The Oziris app also displays extra information about the product, such as the expiry date, and overall information about the brand. You can also access reviews and contribute your own, great if you have never tried a particular product or brand.

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Hopefully we will start to see Oziris QR codes on more products in the supermarket soon. While food counterfeiting might not be a concern for us Aussies, it is still interesting to see where our food comes from, are we buying and supporting local business, and what did others think of the item. Download the app now and keep a lookout for the green codes on the back of your products.

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