Practice Abstract – Sustainable Innovation Pilot 3

Empowering consumers through crowdsourcing

Using crowdsourcing to empower consumers – Who is the boss? Initiative in Greece and France
Consumers can now create their own fair-trade products, build an equality-based agri-food value chain and support the farmers and local producers and that’s what Ploutos SIP 3 is all about!

As consumers, it’s important  to know that every euro spent for a specific product went to compensate the work of all the people involved in the process. A process that starts from the farm and ends at our dinner table. By using SF technologies and traceability solutions, the consumer can now have access to accurate data and information about the way a product is produced and packaged. In this way, customers can take real control of their consumption. 

How does this work?

The pilot ensures that consumers can design their products through a crowdsourcing platform and define how much they are willing to pay for them to the retailer and the producer. Through a web-app and a mobile app they can vote, explore the retail spaces available and scan the QR code to get specific product information.

The ultimate goal is to empower consumers to drive change through their choices.

Unlocking the power of 4 key insights

Through the implementation of the pilot, some key insights were gained and shared with the agri-food community. We believe that the challenges and problems we faced can help us gain a better understanding as to how we can move forward and create sustainable change for the future!

Outcomes: Important outcomes include:
the development of consumer-centric IT tools,
the implementation of Smart Farming (SF) technologies (provided by NEUROPUBLIC) and;
the targeted dissemination activities.
Overall, awareness creation and access to information regarding production processes helped consumers better understand agri-food value-chains and the real cost of their choices when making decisions.

Practical Recommendations: From the pilot’s deployment it was concluded that it’s important to maintain users’ engagement to ensure the flow of information regarding the products. Moreover, the goal is to create one single tool with different applications, to be easily translated in other EU languages.
Another recommendation is to encourage farmers to adopt SF tools to facilitate sustainable farming practices and products.

Empowering consumers through crowdsourcing

Problems: One problem identified is the process of finding the right partners for the product development. This is important as it directly impacts the price of the product. Another problem are the the swift changes in production costs, which makes it difficult to launch a cost study for a new product.

Outlook: The next steps include the engagement of an active community of consumers, the promotion of
research transparency and the need to better identify all actors involved in the process.