Interview with Oriol CerquedaPosted

Brandbuch: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I was born and grew up in Andorra, a small country between France and Spain. Then I studied Engineering at UPC in Barcelona and followed my studies in France at ENSAM university. I started my professional career as a managing advisor in a hydraulic manufacturing company and after 2.5 years I needed a change in my professional life and decided to start a personal project. 

Brandbuch: What made you become a social entrepreneur? 

Being an entrepreneur has always been my way of being. I am a person that needs to be involved in projects that motivates me and allows me to be part of the solution to the social challenges we’ll face in the next few years. 

Brandbuch: Tell us more about the purpose behind Cooltivat. What’s your dream vision?

Cooltivat was born with the idea of ​​bringing agriculture closer to the population of large cities, who have less access to it. 

The idea is to increase the awareness of how important it is to consume locally. Our dream is for everyone to become a conscious consumer by consuming local and ecological products.

Brandbuch: With Cooltivat, I can actually see and track my veggies with my smartphone while they grow. That’s cool. Tell us a bit more about that. 

Our main goal is for everyone to eat local food. We want them to know where their food comes from and how it was cultivated. And we want to do it in an entertaining, educational and dynamic way.

We created an app where users can order local vegetables. They can follow how the food is growing, see how the farmer is cultivating the land, learn how to grow their own food, and track their food order. It’s an ecosystem to help them see how eating local food can have a big impact.  

Brandbuch:  Why do you think the food industry needs a change? Are new generations asking for a change?

We need a change because our planet requires it. Food industry is a very important player in the world economy and is becoming more centralized and less diversified in all countries.  Forcing food to be imported increases transportation and is an environmental disaster. In Spain, food travels an average of more than 3,000 kilometers from producer to consumer. These imports generate more than 4.2 million tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. And this is only for Spain. 

Eating locally is essential not only to address climate change, but it also helps our local economy. It is good for the preservation of local varieties, the biodiversity of species and many more important aspects.

Brandbuch: You’re a mechanical engineer…do you use any of that knowledge in Cooltivat? How?

I am a mechanical engineer but now I am very focused on agriculture. We try to be as sustainable as possible from internal logistics, home delivery and all aspects that can make us more efficient and at the same time generate the minimum environmental impact.

Brandbuch: What are the three main challenges you face as an entrepreneur?

The first challenge is that our message reaches people and that more and more people become aware of conscious consumption. The second is to improve the virtual experience. We want it to be a more immersive experience for the user so they have more  information about what they eat. And the third is to expand the agri-food experience beyond vegetables, which is our main activity now. 

Brandbuch: How do you manage your time between marketing, sales, PR, operations, etc?  Any tips for other entrepreneurs in a similar situation to you?

We are lucky to have an IT member that makes everything easy to manage and automate as much as we can. We have created a marketing team that helps us create quality content and focus the message. My tip is: don’t try to do everything on your own and create a qualified team around you.

Brandbuch: Do you think Cooltivat can make a real difference? How? 

We do believe we can create this real difference. The agricultural sector has modernized a lot in recent years to be more efficient in their produce but they’re not great at marketing their local products. That's where we come in.

Brandbuch: Finally, where do you see Cooltivat in 5 years?

We see Cooltivat being an important actor in the local food industry, with a very important digital experience that makes people eat consciously. Also implementing it for restaurants, so they can also offer local products to their customers through an experience that brings them closer to the origin of the food. We want to have stabilized Barcelona first and then launch in other cities in Spain or Europe.

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About Oriol Cerqueda

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