The notion of so called pull systems are pretty well established by now. Commerce has traditionally operated under a push style approach whereby companies would make what they do, and then try and push that out to market. A more adaptive approach emerged whereby companies would sense what customers wanted, and only when the demand was there would the order go in to produce the product.
The philosophy came to mass market attention (excuse the pun) when it formed a central part of the fabled Toyota Production System, that itself underpinned much of the lean manufacturing movement.
A novel Dutch enterprise is applying the principles of pull systems to buying beef. Koopeenkoe.nl is using crowdfunding to ensure that 100% of the meat from each cow is bought and accounted for before it is sent to the slaughterhouse.
The site has teamed up with a number of farms who are in turn working with the Lindenhoff meat supplier company. Lindenhoff are well known for their sustainable and ethical farming practices. The premise for the business is a simple one.
Each cow on the farms is available via the website, and customers can pledge to buy a portion of the meat from their favourite cow. Each pledge has to be for €99.95 worth of meat, which works out at around 7.5kg of beef. As a purely customer driven process, if the (un)lucky cow doesn’t receive sufficient interest then it doesn’t get slaughtered, and no one receives any beef from that particular beast.
The aim is that all of the meat sent for slaughter is accounted for, therefore reducing any potential waste in the system. Even ‘left over’ parts, such as the bones are used to make glue, with other parts of the animal, such as the tongue or kidney’s available upon request.
As if emphasis was needed for such a service, the UK’s IMechE recently produced a report into food production, detailing that roughly half of all food produced around the world fails to make it to our plates. If Koopeenkoel.nl makes even a small dent in that terrible statistic then it will be time well spent.Original post