Three men sit around a conference table and watch a large screen with a spreadsheet showing all kinds of foods and numbers. “We still lack tomatoes; 300 kilograms is not sufficient. Apples and pears, more than enough.” Speaking is Patrick Pasgang. He is a consultant of the Support point for Innovation ( Innovatiesteunpunt ), and with his expertise in starting up various short chain initiatives in the Belgian region Flanders, he is the ideal man to help support the short chain platform, called “Kort’om Leuven”. The other persons present are Joris Aertsens, from Rikolto, who steers the ambitious project, and Nick François of the Farmers’ Union ( Boerenbond ). “I try to use the Farmers Union’s network to motivate farmers to work together at Kort’om Leuven”, says Nick.
A few months before launching the local platform Kort’om Leuven, these men met to assess whether there is enough supply from local farmers who wish to offer their produce to local consumers through the platform.