INITIATOR: Nerea Viana
SUMMARY: This is an initiative that seeks to unite meat production with local consumption through a cooperative of farmers that produces, transforms and sells directly to the consumer. They will also collectively manage a local cutting plant, in addition to trying to collaborate with restaurants and businesses in the area. The objective is to provide high quality meat to the inhabitants of the area, produced in a sustainable and fair way, improving the farmers’ market position and income. This is the case of dairy sheep farmers who produce cheese, whose lambs are paid low prices nowadays, however, its meat is later very appreciated by the consumer. Therefore, the idea would be to be able to process and market these lambs more directly and locally. In the case of beef cattle, the initiative allows also to give more added value to the meat produced in a sustainable way in the local pastures and mountains, marketing it directly and bringing these values to the consumer, as well as more margin and autonomy to the producer. KALASKA means cowbell, a tool that serves to know where the cattle is when they´re outside in the mountain, as a metaphor for meat that “you can know where it comes from”, synonymous with extensive livestock, animal welfare and its sound reminds of a rural environment that is still alive.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN INNOVATIVE ASPECTS?
Collaboration between farmers and public authorities in the process. Collective processing infrastructure.
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL TO IMPROVE THE POSITION OF THE FARMER IN THE VALUE CHAIN?
They empower themselves in the meat value chain. They can take control of their own animals when being slaughtered and processed and then sold, and they can get to decide the price. They can reach the final consumer and tell them about their way of producing, and show them where the meat comes from. They can build bonds of trust with people, groceries, butchers, and restaurants. This initiative can also show the public authorities and decision-makers that another food system is possible, and that laws and norms should regulate properly to allow it.
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL TO CONNECT FARMERS AND CONSUMERS?
As said before, the farmer can make it all the way to the final consumer and provide their product in a transparent and fair way. Some consumers nowadays want and seek that kind of bond with what they eat, and the environmental and social impact of it.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN OBSTACLES?
Food security laws and other laws, great investments are needed, in marketing to reach potential consumers. Farmers must be committed and that means managing fears and taking risks. The meat market is a very difficult market, there is very little information and it is hard to get. Butchers and farmers don´t usually get along. Very specific knowledge and expertise are needed in order to set the right prices, to manage properly the operations.