The cycle of life or business?

Last week I was in Noida with one of Women on Wings’ new business partners: Drishtee. This organisation focusses on building sustainable communities. With a wish to build better relationships between urban and rural families they developed the idea of a weekly vegetable delivery at the doorstep of urban families, produced by rural female farmers.

We showed the management team some examples of different types of positioning of vegetable subscriptions in The Netherlands, arranging from high end luxury deliveries where all ingredients of the accompanied recipes where measured in the right amounts, to becoming part of bio-dynamic cooperation of farmers and consumers.

We tested different kinds of food consumption habits for cooking, shopping, payment, delivery, decision making. In our focus groups we learned a lot. One of the big concerns is trust. Claims on labels such as organic were considered false, they had bad experiences with online shopping, and they would regularly compare pricing with different suppliers to make sure they were payment the right amount. Advertisements were considered lies so they would prefer getting recommendations from people they knew. The relation with the vendor or supplier is important.

One of the striking things I heard was: “If a women farms, she does it while creating and being part of the life cycle. If it is a male farmer, he does it because it is a business.” Our focus groups would therefore prefer to buy their fresh vegetables from female farmers and support her that way.

I wonder what has happend with the way we have started to do business. Are we trying to cheat each other? Are we not delivering what we promise in our ads? Are we overpricing or not paying the right amount to the right people in the supply chain? Are we trying to trap people into commitments they do not wish?

I am happy to be part of the developing team of this concept. I can’t wait to bring the natural cycle of life into the way we do business. Fresh vegetables from female farmers who get the right price from urban families who need nourishment and want to do good.