Selling provenance or tracing back?

The word provenance means knowing the origin of something and is often used in the past tense to uncover information about a product that already exists. The term was originally used in relation to fine art, finding out whether a painting really originates from the historical period it claims to. The term has now expanded and is used not just to trace a product's history, but also to sell provenance - to promote a product into the market from a particular origin, for example, marmalade made from Seville oranges. Selling provenance and tracing back product history both have origin information at their heart but start from opposite ends of the supply chain. In the quest to make better products, what does each approach contribute and is there a way of joining them up?

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