Interview with Casper Kraken from Fooducer
Fooducer’s CEO talks about how the platform is working to connect the industry, what challenges digitalisation is helping solve, which potential he sees in organics, IoT sensors, and more.
Fooducer is an exciting, new digital platform designed to connect actors along the supply chain to facilitate connections, communications, and trade. Thanks to Fooducer’s state of the art technology and systems, businesses are empowered to exchange data, find new customers, and showcase their products.
About Casper Kraken
Before joining Fooducer in spring 2020 as the digital platform’s CEO, Casper Kraken worked as a Client Manager for makeitmedia and the Managing Director of Bureau Kraken. With ten years of experience as a Communications and Intelligence Specialist in the Danish Armed Forces under his belt, Casper has a deep understanding of complex systems, analytics, assessments and high-performance teams.
Fooducer’s aim is to connect food industry producers, wholesalers, and buyers through your digital platform. Talk us through some of the exciting digital tools you offer.
On fooducer.com actors in the food industry can connect with each other and find new opportunities for collaboration. That’s why we offer to match members with suppliers and buyers of their choosing as part of the onboarding process. We do this partly because we want to give them an idea of what they can achieve simply by using the search engine on our platform. The next phase is getting sales ready. There we introduce them to our product information management tool which is very easy to use. It also has the added benefit that they can see what kinds of information they need to follow in terms of the regulatory compliance of their products. As it stands right now, while creating this, they initially have one source of truth by which they can generate product sheets in up to four languages. After that, they can browse through and are ready to use the requests for quotations. They can also update their connections, buyers, suppliers and partners about any product changes, have any surplus of overstock, or are in the market for a new product.
What are the biggest challenges and complexities food industry traders currently face? And how is Fooducer working to help solve these?
There are a couple of big challenges—these range from very new problems to age-old problems. If we look at one of the newer challenges, especially within these last three to four months, the overwhelming need to be digital arose. When you have no way of relying on trade fairs, conventions or similar means of meeting new suppliers and buyers, there must be digital ways of doing business. And this is a challenge that has gone from a growth or business development challenge straight through to management level. This is where platforms like ours can definitely come into play in the sense that you can achieve an online digital sales channel without having to be an IT expert and invest insane amounts of money in the project or lose focus on what’s important to your business.
The other problem that I really think is right up there is the age-old problem of ensuring the quality and origins of products. Ever since we started taking products from fields to markets, this problem has existed. And with the rise of the global supply chain, this problem has extended to great proportions. Now, with technologies like blockchain and the Internet of Things, there is actually a real opportunity to be able to combat this issue. That is definitely something that we have started to look into recently with some great thinkers from the food and tech industry.
What role do organics currently play on your platform? And how do you expect this space to evolve in the years to come?
At the moment, the organic category doesn’t play a huge role in our current user base. Generally speaking, both consumers’ and companies’ organic and sustainability focus has an exponential growth curve, so I expect it to become a really big category. I also think that as a medium connecting the industry, at Fooducer, we have to play an active part in servicing and growing these ambitions in manufacturing, cultivating, producing and creating business models so that every part of the value chain can learn more from each other. Ultimately, a more sustainable and healthy food supply chain can grow from this.
Looking at the food industry on a pan-European or perhaps even global scale, what industry-wide trends have you observed in recent years?
The industry trend that really stands out to me is the quick rise in widespread, plant-based alternatives to almost everything we consume. The huge focus on organic and sustainable production methods is also something that really stands out. And by now, we’ve also kind of accepted that the ways in which trade is conducted are kind of outdated. This, in turn, gives room for start-ups and innovative minds to try to address these things. It is also starting to attract more serious risk investments and risk capital. That is definitely one of the big things that is going to move the needle if we’re going to succeed in the future.
Which technologies do you believe will have the most significant impact on promoting sustainable practices in the food industry in the future?
The technologies that I believe have the most impact on promoting sustainable practices are definitely technologies like blockchain and IoT. When you have technologies and sensors where everything works together, they can be like catalysts that can improve and optimise the implementation of better practices. And with better ways to prove these things, companies will gain a substantial competitive advantage, especially as consumers’ and society’s awareness of these issues is increasing rapidly. So I think that these are some of the technologies that will lay the foundation for a whole new future of food trade.