3 June 2020 at 17:30 CET (Brussels time)
Curated by: @yannick, founder of Fermenthings (Brussels), @noemi, co-founder of Edgeryders
How to register: Registration Page
Whare the session happens: we will send you the link to join the video session a few days before the event.
The corona virus crisis is bringing home the message for consumers to start buying local and for entrepreneurs, to rely on local ingredients and production sources for their food projects. Unfortunately, the crisis has brought down many small businesses and is forcing entrepreneurs to rethink their approaches. In this virtual session we learn about different Belgian niche food initiatives and the personal struggles & possibilities they are going through right now. While focused on Belgium, this session is a good case study for the broader edgeryders network, with members from over 30 countries.
We would like to discuss but not limit ourselves to the following :
- which mindsets can help us limit losses? what kind of solutions are being tried? are there success stories amidst struggle?
- is localisation something which can improve resilience on a societal level? will it be able to feed the whole table? is this model based on time (or burnout!) and higher quality scale-able to the whole society?
- how can cooperative structures? or other new ways?
- …your own questions.
Format & practical information
- A few invited participants will open the conversation and share their experiences. After that, anyone who is present can tell about their project and engage in the discussion, learn how others are dealing with challenges and what strategies are working.
- Who is this session for? People who are passionate about food - farming, production, delivery, cooking, serving. Participants are invited to join and share personal experiences. Bring the questions that haunt you!
- Language: English, French and Dutch with translation by others when needed
Who else should join the session? Here are some initiatives we wish to learn from:
- CoopCycle - a food delivery app for courier and restaurateur coops. Discussion here.
- Home Gourmet
- CoopCity and a producer owned distribution coop
- PlantEd - Non-profit for education and catering with plant based foods.
- hummus x hortense: plant based restaurant in Brussels; they offered to be a pickup point for vegetable baskets brought by the farmer that they work with, at no commission! nowadays, like most restaurants they do meals delivery, until the Horeca sector reopens in Belgium.
- Freddy met Curry: sustainable meal delivery and a new startup in Brussels.
A Case Study
- Yannick’s personal approach: breaking apart each piece of the business, cutting back & not wanting to restart the machine. For example, starting a food business that is taking off, wanting to grow and roll out new opportunities & “professionalization” of the whole enterprise. Loss of 95% of the revenue once the covid crisis goes full throttle. Now: looking into a much more artistic / social organization structure of the project. I don’t want to put food and business in the same basket anymore. Food projects should be possible within a social approach. So i’m cutting of most of my growth potential, selecting just a few gigs to be able to pay the costs. Cutting back on the loop: more demand -> more investments -> more costs -> needing more clients -> more demands…
What types of mindsets do you have to overcome the crisis within the craft food industriy: “le capital sympathie”, minimizing losses, business as usual, going social?
An important question we also have is:
- How to organise your project around the value of having ‘local products’? this seems to be the game changing opportunity for food projects: local is an added value. Does this actually influence the consumer behavior or is it another greenwashing terminology but no real change? These US recent studies show that while people say they are more prone to buy local, the price is what really drives their behavior.