What we want to be when we grow up

29 July 2015

Basically, we want to become a hub between all the individual growers and farms out there, plus all kinds of available info and other related initiatives that are already out there. There is a lot, but the problem is that it's all still quite fragmented. Sometimes farmers in the same region don't even know about similar endeavors in the area, or are afraid maybe to connect, because they see them as competition. And most of times, a large part of digital interactions is through Facebook, which is good, but limited.

We want to change that, by creating a platform that helps individual growers interact as one. Without any strings attached. Our marketplace won't be a place where they have to compete with each other for lowest price, but instead it will help them get a better price, by always looking for the sweet spot of the highest competitive price for all items in the marketplace combined. If demand rises, so do prices. Also, we want to make each honest and sustainable enterprise, no matter how big or small, operate more efficiently. By providing optimization tools and stimulating knowledge sharing across the platform, growers will learn how to achieve higher yields while steadily decreasing the effort.

Ideally, we want be part of an ecosystem where growing your own food is considered second nature. This system is already on the rise; it's not something we need to create. All over the world, like-minded initiatives are emerging, a definite sign that a food revolution is on the horizon.. And it is direly needed. With the ever increasing pressure on our current food system, financial systems, social structures and environment, we need to start looking for solutions that are easy to initiate and implement, but have a lot of impact on the system. Right now, most solutions only address the symptoms of the problem, not the cause. They are quick fixes, that in time will only make things worse. Produce more food, modify seeds to fight crop diseases, increase transportation capacity.. Why not turn these questions around, and look for answers like: reduce food waste, expand research on natural selection in crops, grow food as close as possible to where it'll be consumed..? Solutions in this range have much more leverage and will improve the overall health of the whole food system on the long run.

In the end, I think we all know to some extent that our prevailing food system is flawed in many ways, and that it needs to be a lot better than it is today. But that requires us to make some drastic changes in our own lifestyle and behavior, which is one of the hardest things to do. We want someone else to come up with some quick fixes, so we won't have to go through the hardships of rigorous change ourselves. But how long will these quick fixes last? And won't they just accumulate to form even bigger structural problems in the future, like increases in global epidemics or more inequality in access to healthy food? And what if no-one else comes up with a more permanent fix?

It's up to ourselves to change the way we eat, live and interact with each other. Our enemy is a common one: us. And the only way to defeat that common enemy is to start taking better care of ourselves. So let's help each other live healthier, more fulfilling lives...

Let's pick up a spade and start planting!