Dutch organic produce marketer Eosta is set to roll out a “clever co-creation” with northern European retailers next year to raise awareness about the underestimated connection between health and food.
Eosta CEO Volkert Engelsman told PBUK the generic “Dr. Good Food” campaign was not about his company but “fighting for something bigger”, and would be open to collaboration with other produce marketers – especially competitors.
“We’ve teamed up with a few doctors, organisations, NGOs and initiatives around food, health and diets in an attempt to raise more awareness on the shop floor, at the fruit and veg shelf, about the proactive role of healthy food,” he said.
“We will organise promotional campaigns with retailers like flash mobs with groups of students who will be dressed up in doctors’ coats and stethoscopes around their necks.
“They’ll be handing out pieces of pineapples, turmeric, ginger, apples and the like for tasting and they’ll be handing out recipes for cooking. In these brochures we will refer to a Dr, Good Food website which we are constructing right now where they can find out more about the connection between food and health.”
The initiative will have launches at the trade fairs Fruit Logistica and BioFach in Berlin and Nuremberg respectively in February, with the campaign set to involve retailers in the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia.
“It will be for throughout the year. We are now talking to launching customers in various countries and then we will custom build the campaign; some customers want a different format so that’s all up to further discussion and dialogue.
“It will be a multi-party driven campaign and a multi-stakeholder driven campaign; it will be a clever co-creation and it will not be a promotion of our company our or products.
“We did the same thing with the Save our Soil campaign – that was not about Eosta. Actually, we are very bad at promoting our own company…it’s way more interesting to fight for something bigger.”
He said the initiative was driven by the same premise as the group’s pillbox campaign earlier this year, which while appreciated by some health food stores its ‘raising the middle finger to the pharmaceutical industry’ approach was not so well received by most retailers.
“Overall we’ve decided let’s take this to the next level but be less like a ‘Robin Food’ type,” he said.
The bigger picture: Less meat, more plant-based food
While Engelsman and his team are passionate about organics and soil health, they decided to include all fruits and vegetables including conventional in the Dr. Good Food initiative due to bigger picture concerns.
“It’s quite simple. We need to get rid of meat,” he said.
“70% of modern agriculture is used to produce animal feed which is predominantly soybeans and maize; these crops are grown at a scale where it is completely impossible to rotate that with any other food crop. You need a lot of mineral fertilisers to get a yield.
“Those fertilisers produce nitrous oxide which is a greenhouse gas 300 times more aggressive than CO2, and accountable for 20% of global greenhouse emissions.”
He added these intensive crops used to feed animals also depleted soils.
“As a result you need 15,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of meat. That’s not sustainable, and on top of this you weaken the pest and weed resistance of these crops, and as a result you need loads of agrichemicals.
“Then you have the protein ratio. You need 20 plant-based protein units in order to produce one animal protein unit. That’s not very efficient, so if you want to feed the world let’s cut out meat in the first place.
“Whether you then decide to eat organic or conventional fruit and veg, we can talk about that when we get there. But first of all let’s get rid of meat and empower the fruit and veg department to make a few powerful statements about how to feed the world.
“You can solve a soil problem, a water problem and a climate change problem.”