During our event Lëtz Go Equal in Digital, Astrid Leonet, business developer at F4A held a speech, during which she told us about the story of her startup, and the importance of fighting against food waste in the retail sector. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis, and provides us with more interesting information on F4A’s brand new campaign : Stëmm’s Crowdfunding.
1) How is COVID impacting F4A’s business?
COVID19 is impacting everyone, no matter how big or small the enterprise. Like everyone else, we had to reorganize the way we work, anticipate, and react to a disrupted environment. Nevertheless, F4A is lucky as its solutions are mainly digital which facilitates the continuity of our business.
Moreover, this crisis shows the urgent necessity for the food retailing sector to be digitalised, which further confirms the validity of our solutions on the market. The post-confinement may be a delicate period for the retail sector, people will undoubtedly want to spend time outside and avoid staying at home. Our tech-solutions will equip them with essential data to better predict future changes and thus, better match supply with demand.
2) Why did you decide to launch this campaign?
These safekeeping times have created a wave of sympathy and solidarity. Many initiatives emerged to help the hospital and food retail sectors, and that’s fabulous. F4A is particularly sensitive to the associative sector, especially food banks, as they play a significant role in the fight against food waste and the promotion of the right to adequate food. It goes without saying that this confinement period further threatens underprivileged people. They find themselves more isolated than ever and increasingly dependent on associations’ services. Although Luxembourg is counted amongst the richest countries in the world, still approximately 18% of the population lives at risk of poverty.1 This being said, these statistics may grow in the coming months.
As the Stëmm Vun Der Strooss urgently needs a truck to pursue their daily activities, F4A decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to sensitive and allow the public at large to contribute to their need. This initiative allowed us to help the Stëmm in the long term not only to save food products but also to save lives.
3) Share thoughts on how you think the crisis will impact food shopping behaviors or the food industry in general?
This crisis will undoubtedly severely impact the whole food industry. As today, more than ever before, we pay the price for a system that has set the priority on globalization. For many years, products sold in supermarkets have been sourced from global productions coming from all corners of the world. But today, borders are blocked, farmers encounter difficulties to harvest their crops due to a lack of workforce, and agri-businesses face similar issues. Food retailers have been increasingly obliged to purchase merchandise from local producers to meet demand. It certainly demonstrates that purchasing local goods to supply sufficient food products without damaging the economy, is possible. Relocalisation would put back local and seasonal food producers in its rightful place: at the center of our food system.
As stated previously, the post-confinement period will certainly be hard times for everyone. We will have to deal with recession, which means consumers will increasingly welcome discounts on food products and food waste will no longer be an option.
1 Portail des Statistiques Luxembourg, n.d. Retrieved from: https://statistiques.public.lu/stat/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=12957&IF_Language=eng&MainTheme=3&FldrName=1&RFPath=29