How "Ein Stück Land" and their crowdbutching approach is changing the meat consumption
Our today´s interview partner is Hinrich Carstensen, one of the two founders of “Ein Stück Land”. The German food startup provides an online-platform for meat & poultry purchase in a very modern, so called "crowdbutching" approach. At “Ein Stück Land”, consumers can sign up for a meat package, which will only be produced once the whole animal has been sold to the crowd. In the meantime, they grow up on rural farms and live a happy and healthy life. In our opinion, the most sustainable way to deal with livestock food and prevent waste.
Hinrich, how did you and Lina get the idea to your digital food startup?
“My father owned a cattle herd, which was growing constantly and we needed to heavily increase our marketing activities so that the meat could actually get sold. We just needed more and more long-term customers to sell to. We spoke to a lot of other farmers who had the same problem, since their marketing approach had also always been limited to the locals from the area. So our idea was born, because we thought there must be a way to use online marketing for this purpose, and make the great products available all over the German market. An online platform seemed to be the best way to do so.”
Besides running a business and earning money with it: What is your biggest driver in your day-to-day-work? And what are the benefits that you want your startup to bring to the world?
“Probably our biggest driver is that we want to change the meat consumption that is only based on the cheapest price nowadays. We are 100% convinced that eating less but better meat is good for everyone: the animals, the consumer, the planet. And good meat quality can only be achieved if a certain living standard for the animals is given – which of course has a higher cost. But the taste and health benefits are the best reward for that.
Secondly, we also want to support local farmers and small farms in their selling process, because centralization is taking over too much and small producers are having a hard time.
We hope that “Ein Stück Land” can help small farms earning better money again so that they can survive in the long-run to provide consumers with tasty and healthy meat. If we achieve that goal by educating the consumer on a healthier and more appropriate consumption, that would be amazing. And it would not only lead to happier farmers and better meat, but of course also to more animal welfare, which is – in the end – what the whole meat industry should be based on.”
How did you grow your digital food startup as big as it is right now and would you have some tips for other new products on the market?
“Most importantly, of course: you need to have a really good product or service that solves a current problem. If you think you have that, never let people get you off your track. Believe in yourself, your product and the idea and the rest will follow. It also helps tremendously if making money is not your only driver of course. If you then also have a good team with the same motivation, as in our case, it is fairly easy to stick to your idea and show the discipline and commitment to drive it forward.
What also made us grow is our honesty in our communication with the consumer, because we always portray things as they are and we strongly believe that people can sense that. At the same time, we have never been avoiding risks, because a business can only grow if you invest in it according to your belief. Luckily, it always paid off for us, but even if it went in a different direction at one point with a specific decision, we would still stick to our overall belief in our brand and only use the failure as a way of learning. Because as a startup, you can never learn too much!”
Thank you, Hinrich and Lina for this great innovation and lots of success for all future efforts to reduce mass meat production!