Short chains to cities

Short chains to cities

Co-creation of innovative business models for the distribution of quality food to city markets.

Full support

Full support

We offer a comprehensive support package, from the feasibility assessment of setting up a sustainable chain, up until the aftercare. We can help you with exploratory research and address practical and logistical preparations, agreements with chain actors, as well as the realisation and follow-up of ongoing chain operations (such as communication, optimisation, …).

We go the extra mile for innovative pilot projects

We go the extra mile for innovative pilot projects

For innovative chains that we develop together, we go the extra mile and jointly look for funding for the start-up and testing phases.

Developing a chain in 5 steps...

1. Intake conversation

We start with an intake conversation. As a customer, you can clarify your expectations. We will discuss which sustainability strategy and/or products are most appropriate and whether or not it is advisable to work with certification.

2. Feasibility study

In an initial research phase, we carry out desk research into the feasibility and potential of the chain – or basket of products, by checking in our network and colleagues in the field. We check the interest of various chain actors and farmer organisations in particular. We make an estimation of the financial viability of the transactions. We check the sustainability of current production and whether there are any “hot issues" in terms of environmental or social factors in the region (due diligence check). We apply the sustainability tool we have developed to look into environmental factors.

3. Collaboration agreement

We will discuss the role of the different chain players, to come to an agreement that is interesting for each of the chain players. At this stage, we also recommend visiting the product’s region of origin together, so all chain players get to know the project and potential challenges. This procedure may seem like a big investment, but in our experience, these visits are essential for stakeholder motivation and subsequently, the success of the chain project. It is also at this stage that the business plan will be strengthened, KPIs will be defined and logistical options will be fine-tuned.

4. Implementation

After signing the informal collaboration agreement or Memorandum of Understanding, we proceed to the implementation. This can be the roll out of a particular food chain or a distribution mechanism (i.e. a local distribution platform) for a basket of local products that can be supplied to a diverse set of buyers in the city.

5. Follow-up

Our support does not end once the short chain is up and running. We continue to support and monitor various aspects to ensure quality and to optimise the chain. Additionally, we offer communication support.

6 principles that define inclusive and sustainable value chains

  1. Cooperation between all actors in the chain with a common goal;
  2. Close relationship between all chain actors, leading to a stable market and constant supply;
  3. Fair and transparent agreements and policies (labour conditions, fair prices, good working conditions)
  4. Fair access to services, such as credit, technical support in the field, market information, etc.
  5. Inclusive innovation and co-creation: innovation driven by multi-actor collaboration;
  6. Measuring results and outcomes; ongoing monitoring to optimise the value chain and follow up.

Source: LINK methodology (CIAT)

Our experience

Contact us

Questions? Don't hesitate to mail or call me. I'd be glad to give you additional information.

Thibault Geerardyn
Thibault Geerardyn
Business Developer
+32 16 31 65 83