Founders Fridays is a new StartupAmsterdam initiative that showcases local entrepreneurs who help strengthen our ecosystem. By inviting founders to answer five questions, we want to shine a light on our ecosystem’s most inspirational stories and role models. We hope that we’ll all learn and grow together by providing startup founders with a space to share their insights and experience.

This week we spoke to Adam Emad, the co-founder of DeLokaleBoer.nl, an online platform that aims to connect farmers with consumers and other companies. The platform offers farmers an opportunity to sell directly to their end consumers and enables those consumers to buy local, healthy and organic products more easily. 

1. How did your career journey lead you to found DeLokaleBoer?

Farmers have been under considerable pressure due to interference from third parties in recent years. Dutch agriculture has been under pressure from the government and the EU for several years. The EU enforced an 11% reduction of dairy cows in 2017 and 2018 due to runaway phosphate pollution. 

We also experienced a decrease in authentic regional and seasonal products, while there is a lot of enthusiasm ahead among the citizens. 

Customers prefer fresh products from local farmers that will be put on their tables right away. DeLokaleBoer offers a platform as a solution for consumers, where they can order their favorite local products in seconds (e.g.,  their phone) based on location and categorisation. DeLokaleBoer.nl also does not apply any extra margins on purchased products.

Ultimately, the ideal image for DeLokaleBoer is for there to be fewer fruits and vegetables in grocery stores in the future. Our goal aims to become a new concept that will change how people consume in the Netherlands.

2. What makes Amsterdam a great city and an excellent ecosystem for a startup founder?

Amsterdam is an outstanding European tech attraction. But most importantly for our platform is that Amsterdam is the hotspot for fast-growing startups. Amsterdam has a long history as a thriving business hub and a leading trade centre, so there is an established infrastructure of engaging thinkers, business accelerators, networks, and co-working spaces. This, combined with the Dutch entrepreneurial mindset, makes for a fast and exciting startup culture that only keeps on growing.

Besides that, Amsterdam is an excellent city for talent. We have all kinds of nationalities with diverse backgrounds in our city. The diversity in thinking is a huge plus and only makes us, and the farming ecosystem, stronger. At DeLokaleBoer, we advance this ecosystem through advocacy, collaboration, innovation, sustainability, and eco-circular economic growth through connections and local business. By bringing the whole ecosystem together through different events, DeLokaleBoer focuses on making lives easier. Within a farming ecosystem, living and nonliving things interact and exchange energy. For that reason, a farm ecosystem is different from a forest or a meadow ecosystem because humans (farmers) can control many of the interactions on the farm. 

DeLokaleBoer has been developing a new system to make farming more efficient. A fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem proves that we can grow to the next generation of technology businesses to serve the worlds’ farmers, consumers, and agricultural industries.

3. What are the goals and needs of DeLokaleBoer for the upcoming months?

We're creating relationships between the consumer and the local farmer to promote the consumption of fresh, healthy and sustainable food. Our journey exists to give local farmers a fair price and have people consume locally daily through DeLokaleBoer's platform.

We're also working on combining blockchain solutions to our platform. That’s why we're creating a savings mechanism programme based on our own DLB tokens. For example, when consumers purchase a product from a local farmer (through DeLokaleBoer), consumers receive an X number of DLB tokens. Consumers can then choose to save these DLB tokens so they can optionally use them on a subsequent purchase. These farmer points (DLB tokens) are stored on the consumer's own account. We're also working to create more innovative business processes with the blockchain.

The following applications are relevant to DeLokaleBoer:

1. Supply chain tracking

By means of supply chain tracking, the consumer can see exactly where products come from. This way, they know that the products they buy are from reliable and reasonable origin.

2. NFTs

NFTs in the form of digital certificates can be issued by DeLokaleBoer to farmers. Farmers earn this certificate when, for example, they have achieved X number of sales.

3. Pay

DeLokaleBoer can offer customers the option to pay by different cryptocurrencies.

4. Loyalty programme

Blockchain can ensure that loyalty points can be converted into tokens. These tokens are automatically added to the consumer's wallet after purchase. Consumers can also exchange the tokens for orders.

5. Database

DeLokaleBoer can use blockchain to store company data. As a result, data is no longer stored in a central location but is distributed among all network participants. The chance of being hacked is therefore much smaller.

4. What has been a recent win for your business?

DeLokaleBoer has successfully created a partnership with Jumbo Monique! Jumbo is one of the biggest supermarkets in the Netherlands and with Jumbo Monique, we want to have our meal shakes made available to the public. We will have our box with fresh products that are local and picked up the same day from farmers in the area. By creating a QR code that will be placed on the box, customers can quickly scan the code and go to our DeLokaleBoer page for the steps to create the shake. The only thing a customer needs is a blender and some milk, whether that be 'normal' milk, lactose-free or a plant milk alternative.

By following our step-by-step plan, the customer will have a whole meal in a shake made with fresh local products directly from a local farmer.

Customers will also receive knowledge about their shake meal, such as how many calories, nutrients and vitamins it has. 

We want to help farmers to sell more products in a more creative way. The meal shake recipes will do just that, creating an extra revenue stream for local farmers. To keep things in motion, DeLokaleBoer will also provide a new shake recipe each week that can be found in Jumbo stores. 

5. What has been a recent challenge for your business, and what have you learned from it?

Convincing farmers to adopt new technology! Today, farmers, advisors, and policymakers are faced with complex choices. They are presented with a wide range of technologies that are either available or under development and they must deal with uncertainties that arise. They must also grapple with the effects that these new technologies will have on the agri-food chain, as well as the impact that a range of policies may have on the sustainability of farming systems.

DeLokaleBoer will be solving environmental problems in our agriculture, which requires developing and diffusing new technologies. We believe that farmers will be encouraged to adopt the appropriate technologies needed for sustainable farming. With profitability being a primary concern for farmers, as long as the farmers can witness profitable technology through our platform, then we believe that technology can ultimately be adopted and accepted by the farmers.

If you would like to share your story with our local ecosystem, you can contact us by email at startup@amsterdam.nl.