Interview with Flavio Neirotti, co-founder of Agrivia
Interview with Flavio Neirotti, co-founder of Agrivia, an innovative startup that aims at the protection and promotion of organic products – an example of Italian excellence.
Agrivia is not your average agri-food e-commerce platform: at its core, this startup represents the need for an environmental change. Two elements make Agrivia special:
- the drive to protect and promote local Italian organic food
- the drive to create a space where food is a symbol of wellness and sustainability
Small local food producers have the chance to sell their products online without the need of acquiring extra skills, and consumers can purchase fresh farm-to-table products anytime. Moreover, all Agrivia products travel as little as possible during delivery, in order to limit CO2 emissions. Buying from local producers means that greenhouse gas emissions are significantly lowered, which, consequently, reduces environmental impact!
What can food producers do in Agrivia?
Local food producers can sell their products through Agrivia’s platform, which will then take care of the rest! Agrivia is also a place where any producer’s and product’s story gets told, a place where people that are passionate about what they do can get the reward they deserve.
What can consumers do in Agrivia?
Consumers can purchase local products sold individually or collectively, and they can also learn about the food producers and their products.
Here’s how it works:
Hi, Flavio! Agrivia: a much-needed project… Can you please tell us more about it?
Hello, and thank you for the opportunity. Agrivia is a local e-commerce that wants to make the food supply chain more sustainable and transparent. In this sector, food producers and end consumers are always the ones who are at a greater disadvantage: producers’ earnings are at a minimum, while consumers never truly know where the products are coming from. Agrivia’s farm-to-fork approach helps small food producers and customers connect, so, all value is focused on these two parties. But Agrivia’s true innovation is represented by the use of IoT sensors, which can determine ground and air quality, the products’ carbon footprint, and the correct use of pesticides and chemical treatments. The resulting data will make the use of critical components more efficient, and will help consumers understand the products’ story and sustainability level. In order to avoid data manipulation we’ll use blockchain technology, which will keep the information true to reality and immutable. As for logistics, Agrivia deals with the delivery of goods from producer to customer via the least polluting vehicles that have zero environmental impact, such as cargo bikes.
When and how was Agrivia born?
My co-founder Luca Battagliotti and I started working on it in October 2020. We learned about the food chain supply issue first, then we got more information about even bigger issues through interviews with food producers and consumers. We analyzed the existing market strategies, from which we formed our own innovative technological strategies.
How long did it take for Agrivia to take off?
About 3 months. Being our first startup-related effort, it was a difficult – although stimulating – experience. The project finally took off in February 2021, when we got incubated by Torino’s Politecnico I3P. Thanks to them, we’re now preparing for the launch of our project’s first version.
How can agri-food information help restore our endangered planet?
Educating people and raising awareness about this topic is crucial. Today, 75% of farmland is deteriorated, while agri-food companies cause 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. Us consumers are the only ones who can change this system through more careful purchase choices. Companies can try implementing new sustainable solutions all they want, but, if no one cares about them, those solutions are going to be dropped. In short, we have the power to change.
What kind of feedback are you getting from local food producers?
The response has been enthusiastic so far. Many farmers needed a partner that could help them out with their business burdens, so that they could focus exclusively on food production. Small and medium producers, especially, rely on us, since they have excellent quality products that they can’t manage and sell appropriately due to scarce business resources.
Did you resort to crowdfunding to launch your startup?
We leaned towards a solution that didn’t involve too many fixed costs, so we launched an online MVP. At the moment, we plan on searching for our first seed at Angel Investors in October 2021; their network and know-how are fundamental for a startup’s first life stage. But the possibility of using crowdfunding in the future is not excluded.
Let’s end it with a slogan: why should consumers and food producers join Agrivia?
Making food sustainable and transparent is our mission, and – thanks to today’s technology – all it takes is a click of a mouse. Make this change possible.
We are what we eat, and we all want to become a better person.
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