The carbon footprint of our transport system
Logistics challenges are among the major challenges with which the CrowdFarming team is confronted on a daily basis. There are three variables that we are looking at in more detail each time a Farmer launches a project: time, distance and mode. The perfect combination of these three variables allows this new way of receiving your food directly from the producer, to be the most environmentally friendly possible.
How much time passes from the moment the Farmer collects my harvest until I receive it at home?
As for most fresh products, from the moment the fruit is harvested, it starts to loose quality. To stop this natural aging process of the fruit, the traditional food supply chain uses physical (cooling chambers) and chemical means (fungicides or waxes). The answer seems obvious: We have to make sure that this time frame is kept to a minimum. But without forgetting the other two variables: distance and mode! It’s no use to only look for the quickest way of transport.
Key point: in CrowdFarming you only receive seasonal products. The Farmer does not speculate with the harvest time or sends you the harvest because it has been previously reserved. His/her motivation is to harvest at the optimal ripeness stage and send it to you directly.
How many kilometers does my harvest travel?
It’s important that food does not travel a greater distance than necessary between its origin and destination. Furthermore, it is important to look for “small cycle” distribution channels. When we talk about small cycles, we are referring to places, where for example the Farmer can harvest in the morning and you will receive the products at home in the afternoon. Unfortunately, this is only possible for a limited variety of products in certain places. In most cities we are still far from being able to cultivate all that we consume.
Key point: in CrowdFarming, your food travels the least possible kilometers to arrive at your doorstep. How do we do it? The key word is: planning. The CrowdFarming team plans the transport routes well ahead, so that when the Farmer tells us that he/she has everything ready, we can come to pick up the products with a proper route mapped out, knowing where every box has to go without making unnecessary detours.
How are the products transported to my home?
This aspect is equally important as the previous two. It does not only affect the mode of transport, but also the packaging materials used for shipment.
- Way of transport: Grouping orders together in order to have sufficient shipments all the while being cost-effective in terms of transport. Moreover, we use the most efficient way of transport (by truck, train, ship, plane) depending on the type of products, its quantities, origin and destination.
Which materials are used for packaging?
- Packaging: the ecological conscience of the Farmers is not only reflected in the seals but also in their deeds. Our team helps the Farmers to find recyclable materials suitable for shipment. On the Farmer pages you can check whether they carry the seal #plasticfree.
Key point: We have created a network of Farmers in order to design transport routes to share storage space. The question is: “What is more efficient, 100 people with 100 routes to pick up a product from a certain place or one person with one route to distribute to 100 homes?"
The traditional food supply chain vs. CrowdFarming
Food supply chain
Planning of harvest(s)
The Farmers produce blindly without knowing the future demand or the sale price
The Farmers produce based on direct demand from the people who adopt their productive units
Shipment of products
Passing through various points before arriving in the hands of the final consumer
Direct shipment from the origin to the address indicated by the CrowdFarmer (final consumer)
Harvest of products
Occasionally, they harvest prematurely for the produce to last longer
Harvest at the optimal ripeness stage