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Food, Beverage & Hospitality
Published: 31 Jan 2014

‘Crowdfunded Cows’ Offer Sustainable Beef

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Dutch organisation Koopeenkoe.nl has applied the ever-popular crowdfunding model to meat in a bid to produce sustainable beef. Carnivorous consumers can collectively pledge to buy 100% of the steak from a cow before the animal is sent to slaughter.

Like other projects hosted on crowdfunding sites, if a cow doesn't gain enough backers to buy 100% of its beef, the animal isn't slaughtered, and nobody receives any meat. This means that all of the meat has already been accounted for at the time of slaughter, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Even the bones are used to make glue, and customers can also request to purchase the tongue, kidneys or liver.

The organisation only works with farms that are partnered with ethical and sustainable meat supplier Lindenhoff. Customers visiting the website can pledge to buy 7.5kg of meat from each cow available from the supplier, at a cost of 99.95 euros ($135). The meat is delivered to them around four weeks later and can then be frozen and consumed over a number of months.

On a potentially much broader scale, McDonald's recently pledged to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef by 2016 to use in its fast-food outlets.

The two initiatives reflect a growing consumer interest in food provenance, as explored in The New Hunter-Gatherer. Coupled with this, a climate of economic austerity is fuelling rising concerns over food waste. For more insight into these areas, look out for Rebranding Budget – part of our Macro Trend, The Austerity Opportunity, which is publishing next week.

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