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Set up just a few years ago, Provenance says it is lighting a fire under the retail world.  

The company is based around an app which allows retailers and customers to see where a product comes from, from its origins to its point of sale.  

"Behind every product is a complex chain of people and places and that's a really important part of why people buy things," Ms Baker explains.  

"Provenance is all about making that information transparent to shoppers but also to businesses all along the supply chain."

"For a long time, I think most of our meals came from under one mile from our home in Wiltshire, vegetables from the garden and animal products from our neighbour's farm."  

While training to be a manufacturing engineer, Ms Baker visited dozens of supply chains to see how different products were sourced and created. But the breakthrough came in 2013, when she was studying for a PhD in computer science and started to look into the emerging blockchain technology.  

"You can think of a blockchain," Ms Baker says, "as a shared data system that everyone can use in order to be able to trust information. What it's allowed us to do is to have a shared system of record that nobody can tamper with and everybody can see."

Provenance uses this technology to log and store every stage of a supply chain in a way that anyone can access.  

Student project to global ambition

Now the company, which started as a part-time interest while Ms Baker was studying, has become a full-time business. She has put her PhD on hold, as she's busy running a company with 10 staff based in four countries: the UK, the US, France and Germany.  

"We have no physical things apart from our laptops," Ms Baker points out. "So we can move the team wherever we want to around the world."

The company started out working with small brands and, in July 2016, signed its first commercial client, the UK's fifth largest food and grocery retailer, the Co-op. Provenance is now helping the Co-op track fresh products through its supply chains.  
 
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38773878
 
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