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Want to eat meat sustainably? Share a cow says Vancouver startup allows people to crowdfund locally raised livestock and have the meat delivered to their door

A Vancouver startup aims to make eating local meat more accessible and transparent for people.

Metro File

A Vancouver startup aims to make eating local meat more accessible and transparent for people.

A local startup wants to make ‘cowsharing’ as popular as carsharing in Vancouver by offering a service that helps people crowdfund livestock and divide the meat among themselves.

People on can buy shares of a cow, lamb, pig, or chicken so that when the animal is fully funded, farmers are paid for the animal, butchers divide the meat up, and delivery people drop each order off at customers’ homes.  Each order consists of a set variety of meat cuts to ensure no one fights over the tenderloin.

It’s a business model that entrepreneur Victor Straatman was familiar with in Holland, where he grew up. When he didn’t see anything like it in Vancouver, he decided to try it himself.

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He had the good fortune of sharing his first cow with a friend of restaurateur and Top Chef Canada contestant Trevor Bird, who jumped at the idea of making a business out of it.

“We really want to make the local sustainable farmers more accessible to people,” said Straatman.

“Hopefully we expand the market and get people thinking about what kind of meat they eat and support the local farms who do a great job raising the animals in a healthy and humane way.”

The pair launched in September 2016 and has delivered meat from dozens of locally raised animals to 350 customers so far.

Unlike other crowdfunded food programs like Sole Food and Skipper Otto – which Straatman subscribes to and wholeheartedly supports – there is no membership or subscription fee for Meatme.

According to the company’s analysis, its meat is anywhere from eight to 28 percent cheaper than equivalent products (locally raised, grass-fed, no hormone meat) at supermarkets.

With the help of Sauder School of Business’ incubator, the Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing, Straatman and Bird hope to replicate the business model in other cities. 

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