Plant-based meat alternatives are on the cusp of becoming mainstream. But until they actually do crossover, the USDA expects the average American to eat 219 pounds of meat per year by 2025, with Big Meat making a big, negative impact on the planet.
Meatme is trying to combat this impact by going small. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the company is making it easier for consumers to buy from local, sustainable sources of beef, chicken and other animal products.
Meatme transformed from co-founder, Victor Straatman’s side project into a full company a little over a year ago. “What we want to do is move towards a system where people source meat from small scale farmers,” said Straatman. “Small scale farmers struggle to get to consumers.”
The company works with local farmers to sell one animal at a time. Meatme only partners with farmers who raise their animals “ethically and holistically.” To reduce its carbon footprint, the company only delivers to areas local to that farmer. Meatme currently partners with eight farms in the British Columbia area. Customers in that Canadian province can go online and choose the cuts they like and have the meat delivered
If it sounds a lot like CrowdCow, you’re correct. Straatman applauds what CrowdCow has done to help people think about where their meat comes from, but says Meatme is different because it only sells meat from a consumer’s local farmer. Meatme won’t ship meat from anywhere else.
This is a lofty goal (one CrowdCow aspires to as well), and one that will require capital to achieve. The company has been bootstrapped thus far, but is currently securing $400,000 (Canadian) as part of a forthcoming $1.1 million seed round.
With the money, Straatman says Meatme is first going to expand further into Canada before tackling the US. But scaling on an international level will be a challenge. At each market it will need to find a sizeable enough customer base, farms that fit its sustainable criteria, as well as people to butcher, process and provide delivery.
But if it can rise to those challenges, and more people become interested in where their meat actually comes from, Meatme’s small farm approach could make a big impact.