KORTOM LEUVEN: Kortere en efficiëntere ketens voor voedsel en voedselresten in de regio Leuven
Shorter and more efficient chains for food and food waste in the Leuven region
Rikolto Belgium (formerly Vredeseilanden) wants a more efficient and shorter chain for food and food waste in Leuven and the surrounding area. That is why the new distribution platform Kort'om Leuven was established: a place that brings together local farmers, supermarkets, restaurants and consumers.
The idea is to collect fresh products such as potatoes, vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and processed products such as jams, honey, fruit juices, beer, etc. from producers within a radius of the city. from producers within a radius of 15 to 20 km around Leuven. We then deliver these products to interested customers in Leuven and the surrounding area, including the catering industry, supermarkets, shops, industrial kitchens, food teams, etc.
We want to tackle both collection and delivery as efficiently as possible, with environmentally friendly transport adapted to the city context.
Rikolto België vzw (Vredeseilanden)
PartnersVoedselteams vzw, Provincie Vlaams-Brabant, Streekproducten Vlaams-Brabant vzw, Stad Leuven, Leuven 2030 vzw, Innovatiesteunpunt vzw, Foodwin vzw, Boerenbond
In October 2020, 16 producers will be connected to Kort'om Leuven (of which 6 in a trial period). An overview can be found on our handy webshop, www.kortomleuven.be, made in collaboration with Linked.Farm.
The platform has 20 connected b2b customers, of which at least 10 order on a weekly basis. These are mainly supermarkets and shops (Content Leuven, Match Leuven, Carrefour Herent ...) and to a lesser extent the hospitality industry (cfr. corona crisis).
Our turnover figures look good and that trend continues to rise: at the end of 2020 the average monthly turnover was 21,000 euros.
We do not only contribute ourselves to avoiding food waste and valorising food leftovers, but we also inspire other actors in the chain: producers, distributors and buyers.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
The ability to work in a demand-driven way is very important for this type of project. A large support base among the local population is worth a lot. We are convinced that a multi-stakeholder cooperative would make the initiative even stronger, as it would allow customers and citizens to co-manage the initiative.
Setting up such a cooperative is a process that requires a lot of time. It is important to take that time, so that we can guarantee its proper functioning in the future.
Logistics is a high cost, but by working with second-hand means of transport already available from the producers, we can make significant savings. The cooperative's motto is 'together we are strong'.
Working together with many different producers and customers requires more time to get ahead, but it also gives more chances for beautiful, sustainable results in the long run.
1coordinator: Michael Moulaert
20B2B customers: retail and hospitality
21.000euro monthly turnover
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
For now, our turnover looks good: if the upward trend continues, Kort'om Leuven will break even in the course of the next 12 months. This means that we will be able to pay a full-time coordinator.
We are also aiming for extra investments and/or subsidies for infrastructure such as vehicles, to rent a warehouse and to pay labour costs. This will give us more room to grow and attract even more products and customers.
Furthermore, we would like to collaborate with other organisations in Leuven with a similar mission, because we notice that we often have the same needs. For example, we are looking for partners against food waste (e.g. Robin Food or Solikoop) with whom we can share storage and transport costs.
Finally, we are also very interested in starting similar initiatives in other city centres.