Rabobank- Growing Ideas: How to start up in Agrifood

A column today from Rabobank, by Martijn Rol, stated that, “Consumers are showing increasing interest in sustainable and healthy food. No wonder that start-ups see opportunities in this area. But, warns Martijn Rol, it takes a lot more than an appealing product to be successful.

“Martijn Rol is Sector Specialist Food at Rabobank. He has seen huge growth in sustainable niche sectors recently. ‘Every week we are approached by new entrepreneurs wanting to make products healthier and more sustainable, and by others who want to reduce waste and food loss.'”

The column explained that, “The biggest pitfall is growing too fast. It can be an incredibly powerful impetus if a supermarket with 300 branches wants to sell your product. But if the product is unpopular, it will be taken off the shelves just as quickly. Over-dependence on one party can prove disastrous. That’s why I recommend first building the brand among a sufficiently diverse customer base.

A start-up needs to be stable before it can start to scale up. It’s a tricky balancing act – not being too dependent on one client while also needing that client to grow. On the other hand, that makes it exciting. In fact, it is often the reason people choose to go into business in the first place, to test where risk and reward meet.”

Today’s Rabobank item also indicated that, “Start with crowd funding and business angels. They won’t just help financially, they’ll also promote the product. Then build up sales through local cafés and specialty shops. Once a brand is strong enough, it can be a good idea to open a shop or hospitality concept to enhance product experience for consumers. Finally, when your cash flow is stable, you can increase production to national coverage in supermarkets, or even start cross-border trading.”

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