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Coop Klimafunding – crowdfunding for a green transition within the Danish food sector

Coop Crowdfunding

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Coop Crowdfunding bridges the gap between innovative food producers and consumers willing to invest money in small local projects. The platform is a new form of cooperative financing, taking advantage of the Danes’ growing interest in local and sustainable food to help producers access financing to implement their ideas.

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Coop Klimafunding is a new initiative aimed at supporting the green transition among Danish food producers by creating new opportunities for financing green initiatives together with consumers.

A cross-sector collaboration to decrease climate footprint in food production

In 2020, Coop Crowdfunding and the green think tank of Denmark: CONCITO launched the initiative Coop Klimafunding to help food producers take their first green steps and to reduce their carbon footprint.

Coop Klimafunding enables consumers to help finance food producers’ climate action through a crowdfunding campaign. By selling their goods and produce via a crowdfunding campaign the food producers can raise capital to implement more sustainable climate practices in their production resulting in less green house gas emissions. While consumers can have a have a direct hand in helping and supporting climate action in the food sector, when they back the crowdfunding campaigns.

Coop Klimafunding was launched in 2020 and will return in 2021 in an extended version that allows consumers to support food producers through crowdfunding loans. In short the campaigns enable consumers to provide a loan to the company, which will be paid back with interests. In this way, companies can raise the much needed capital to develop their business and production while ensuring a green transition.

Photo: Unsplash. Close up detail shot of a farmer’s hand holding a bunch of freshly cut asparagus stalks. Photographed on an organic farm on the island of Møn in Denmark.

Retailers can shape green supply and demand

The initiative was put in place after an internal revision of the retailer Coop’s own C02 foot print. The account disclosed that 92 percent of the emissions stemming from all the food products on the shelves come from the production chain, and has thus already happened before arriving at the store. This knowledge underlined the importance of lowering green house gasses emissions in the agriculture and food production sector, as suppose to only focusing on the 8 percent remaining in retail stores and transportation chain.

As a major retailer Coop has always emphasized sustainable business practices, being aware of Coop’s influence and role in local communities and in the nation as a whole. Therefore, it was natural to pursue an initiative, which in the first instance would benefit food producers and secondarily result in lowering the 92 percent emmission rates in Coop’s climate account. Coop Klimafunding is a groundbreaking business pursuit in many ways, and an important feature is that it breaks with the way in which retailers traditionally influence suppliers, namely by imposing requirements and regulations. But while requirements are often the right way to motivate large companies to change their supply and methods, it is very difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to lift the extra workload that new requirements entail.

Consequently, the goal of Coop Klimafunding is not to impose new “green/climate” requirements, but instead to help food producers finance their green transition based on the feasibility and status in their businesses.

Coop Crowdfunding representative hosting a talk about Coop Klimafunding at the People’s Climate Summit in Middelfart in September 2020.

Crowdfunding: funding for businesses provided by consumers

Coop Klimafunding is based on the principle of crowdfunding as a tool to involve consumers in the development of specific climate actions. Through the Coop Crowdfunding website, consumers can support food producers either by buying products or lending them money, and in this way help to finance the green transition in companies. An important pay-off for consumers is that by backing the campaigns they get to have a say in what food is available in the future – and how it should be produced.
Crowdfunding is a tool that has already created new ways of thinking among manufacturers and companies. Instead of working with a linear model ‘from producer to consumer’, a circular model is created in a crowdfunding approach, where consumers and producers are linked together via crowdfunding so that product development and feedback from consumers can take place in real time. Through crowdfunding, manufacturers also get a marketing plan where they can test their ideas on consumers and find out if there is a market for their product or initiative. This sort of “test drive” for food products will hopefully see many more food products with a low CO2 foot print emerge, as is the hope and goal for the Coop Klimafunding in general.

About Coop Klimafunding

Coop Klimafunding is a new initiative aimed at supporting the green transition among Danish food producers by creating new opportunities for financing green initiatives together with consumers.
By bringing together retailers, producers and consumers to accelerate the green transition in the food sector, the Coop Klimafunding creates solutions that reduce the CO2 footprint in the food sector at present and through action, which happen today.

Coop Klimafunding launched 16 companies’s individual crowdfunding campaigns and is currently raising investment from the consumers that are backing their campaigns.

Read more about the crowdfunding campaigns from these food producers:

  • Rabarbergaarden – a regenerative farm optimizing green energy
  • Pure Dansk – legumes cultivated by Danish farmers
  • Agrain® – an upcycled superfood from waste in beer production

Coop Klimafunding has raised 500.000 dkkr from consumers to food producers

Several organisations partnered with the initiative: Irma (retail store), the non-governmental organisation: Organic Denmark, Food and Bio Cluster Denmark, and the green think tank CONCITO.

Image: Unsplash/Coop Crowdfunding: Accelerate your green transition with Coop Klimafunding.

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