Innovations That Matter

Crowdfunding cows in the Netherlands to cut food waste


Putting a new spin on the crowdfunding model, requires meateaters to collectively pledge to buy 100% of the steak from cows before they're sent to slaughter.

Crowdfunding has become an incredibly popular way to finance new business ideas over the last few years, and Springwise has seen the concept applied to skyscrapers and sports careers (check out our Crowdfunding Now section for more examples). Putting a new spin on the model, The Netherlands’ requires meateaters to collectively pledge to buy 100 percent of the steak from cows before they’re sent to slaughter. works with a number of farms partnered with meat supplier Lindenhoff, which use sustainable and ethical farming methods. The premise for the business is simple: for each cow they have available, customers can visit the site and pledge to buy a portion of the meat from the cow. Although the beef comes in a variety of cuts, each person pledging to buy a single EUR 99.95 package gets 7.5kg — or 26 meals worth — of beef from the cow. The idea is that they can freeze the beef and use it gradually over a couple of months. With popular sites such as Kickstarter, projects that don’t get enough backers to hit their full funding target don’t receive any money. In a similar way, if the cow doesn’t get enough customers wanting its meat, it doesn’t get slaughtered and no-one receives any beef. This ensures that all meat is accounted for at the time of slaughter, and none of it gets thrown away. Even the bones are used to make glue by the farmers, and customers can receive tongue, kidneys or liver by request. The model also gives consumers the peace of mind that they can trace their meat back to the individual cow.

According to a recent report by the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers, nearly half of all food produced globally never makes it onto a plate and is instead thrown away. Ideas such as aim to ensure that food is only made available when 100 percent of it has been allocated to be eaten. Are there other ways to tackle food waste through new business models?

Spotted by Robert de Koning, written by Springwise



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