Digitizing the food supply chain by Fresh.Land


The food industry’s model is broken. Moving food from farm to family dinner table can take months as it travels through a number of middlemen before arriving to the supermarket shelf.1  To endure the journey, the food is filled with chemicals. The end result: Food that is months old, chemically laden, tasteless, and with little nutritional value left.
 
To make matters worse, the industrial model of food handling also leads to an astounding amount of waste. Experts estimate that 30 percent of food goes bad during the process. Consider this: In the old model, if the price offered by distributors doesn’t match harvesting costs, produce is left to rot on the trees. And once fresh food reaches supermarket shelves, waste happens when demand is miscalculated. 
 
Fresh.Land digitizes the food supply chain, allowing farmers to sell directly to retailers. How? By using a platform that provides scale and infrastructure (including logistics, payment, legal and knowledge support) integrated into one solution. In this new just-in-time model, the farmers’ trees and fields become natural “warehouses” as they harvest fresh for every shipment. Food is purchased and consumed within days instead of months, protecting food integrity and minimizing waste.
 
Here’s how it works: First, farmers post online the products they have ripe. Retailers see filtered product offers based on Fresh.Land’s algorithm. Then the logistical partners fulfill the delivery (Fresh.Land does not hold any inventory). Over the past year the company’s six pilot farmers have sold more than €326,000 in fresh produce. And the demand has been growing at 30–40 percent a month and is now five times higher than supply. 
 
Expediting the process – from tree to table – brings profound effects to both farmers, consumers and the environment. Farmers can sell their products directly to retailers for up to twice as much as they get through traditional channels. Consumers enjoy fresher, healthier food that contains no preservatives. The re­duction of time spent in cold storage and transportation dramatically reduces CO2 emissions. 
 

There are a number of benefits driven through Fresh.Land’s approach like receiving fresher food with less chemicals. CO2 emissions from cold storage are cut by up to 30 times. And food waste is diminished. If the Fresh.Land concept could take a market share of 20%, the 88% savings of the energy used for storage and reduced food waste by 10% would save 12.7 million tons of CO2 annually by 2026.

To date, Fresh.Land has concentrated on fruits (e.g., clementines, lemons, grapefruits, avocados, persimmon, physalis, pomegranate, melons, loquat, blueberries, raspberries) and vegetables (e.g., tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, eggplants, pepper fruit). In the future, the company plans to offer a full range of fruits and vegetables straight from the farm to supermarket shelves. 


Fresh.Land was founded by Mathilde Jakobsen (CEO) and Filipe Leal (COO). Mathilde is a native of Denmark and worked for Coloplast, a Danish medical device company. She is a consumer food activist, currently writing a book from her firsthand experiences in the food industry. Filipe is from Portugal and has a back-ground in management consulting with McKinsey. He has ‘farming in his blood’ – he helped his father turn around the family farm at a time when it was struggling to be profitable. 
 
“The food supply chain is broken. Food spends months in cold storage - which represents 1/3 of all food related emissions. With Fresh.land we are using the trees as a ‘natural warehouse’ - directly from tree to store in days rather than months. Fresh.Land puts the Nordics at the forefront of two strategic industries - cleantech and agribusiness - and as an innovative new business model to showcase to the world.” Mathilde Jakobsen, CEO, Contact +45 5379 0707