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Råvarene is introducing a new way of grocery shopping. We aim to challenge how we shop today by raising awareness and love for food.
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330 backers pledged NOK 230,133 to help bring this project to life.

Project Description (English translation)

Posted by Rå Lab (Creator)
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Råvarene is your Zero Waste Store where you can buy ethical groceries without unnecessary packaging. Your support helps us create a place that makes it easy for you to save money and the environment by buying exactly what you need from our dispensers.

Media coverage
Media coverage

Why Råvarene?

Did you know that in Norway we throw away 25% of all traded and produced food?

In total this adds up to 360,000 tons, which equals 69 kg per person. This means that, excluding the weight of packaging, you and I throw away 1095 eggs, 138 0.5 kg blocks of brown goat cheese or 120 frozen pizzas, every single year. In an article by the TV channel TV2, consumers blame packaging as the main reason behind our food waste. Packaging limits our freedom to choose the amount needed and we end up buying more than we need. ForMat, an interdisciplinary project financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the business community, has concluded that the food waste has a value of NOK 18 billion. The average Norwegian family of four could have saved NOK 13,800 a year. 

Think of what we could have done with that money! Travel. A nice surprise. A massage? Or a high-quality mortar to make delicious homemade pesto? 

Råvarene is working towards increasing the number of independent businesses, inviting people to openly discuss food, and acting as the unifier that encourages people to work together to reduce waste. We seek to know the origin of our products, endorse producers and suppliers, and foster sustainable logic and operations at all levels. We strive for better communication between those making the decisions, and towards you and I. 

Why now?

Food, people and the environment are at the center of attention and we see that the Zero Waste movement is growing. Original Unverpackt in Berlin, in.gredients in Austin and The Source Bulk Foods in Australia are operators on the international scene who have succeeded in opening shops with concepts for minimizing waste and packaging. Norwegian businesses such as Mølleren Sylvia and Fat og Fe show that there is a flourishing market for differentiated products in Norway as well. We have either visited personally or contacted the aforementioned shops, both in Norway and abroad, in order to learn best practices. The results and commitments from COP21 – the Paris Climate Conference – and MDG’s historic municipality election results – indicate international and national political will.

Ingrid and Anita with former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland (Current Deputy Chair of the Elders) at the Paris Climate Conference COP21.
Ingrid and Anita with former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland (Current Deputy Chair of the Elders) at the Paris Climate Conference COP21.

The timing is right. The fact is that shopping with an environmental focus is not easy. There is a gap between attitude and action. We want to do something about this. 

What is Råvarene?

Råvarene is a grocery store with a great selection of food and household products in bulk, because it is the content that matters. Fill up your container with what you might need from our gravity bins and mix your own muesli or spices.

Råvarene want to bring out the everyday hero and be a timeless, transparent and circular grocery shop.

  • Timeless. A simple franchise model which leaves the possibility to open up in other cities and as own departments in larger stores. The assortment will consist of permanent basic products, and optional and seasonal products for a dynamic shop in a community that values the culture of sharing. 
  • Transparent. Our vision is based on the motto “Våre røtter, frie føtter” (=“Our roots, free feet”). We want to have first-hand knowledge of the origin of our products and be able to tell the story of the wonderful food. 
  • Circular. Our suppliers deliver the products in bulk and with as limited packaging as possible. Our customers bring their own reusable containers, jars and shopping bags, or buy them in the store. In return you choose the exact amount you want, pay for the content only, and help to create a cleaner society. 

How?

Where does the money go?

The support we receive will go directly towards covering the start-up costs. We will not earn a salary, and we wish to emphasize that the support will not cover other incurred costs. 

Between us we want to let you now that we aim to bring Råvarene to new heights. Råvarene will function as a showroom for an innovative payment solution using dispensers. This development has already started. If we get enough funding, the payment solution will be tested at Råvarene and give you the opportunity to try a streamlined shopping experience that unites today’s technology and cultural heritage. 

The payment solution is developed independently from Råvarene, supported with funding from Innovation Norway amongst others. Thus, the costs related to the payment solution are not included in the budget estimate related to Råvarene, which you will find further down. 

We have created a budget with the help of professionals and our own experiences from previous projects. The overview below shows an estimate of how much funding is needed for the start up. Budget

The costs are estimated, but realistic. As you can see, we have estimated a lower funding goal than necessary to start up Råvarene. We want to share the risk with you and will finance the rest with our own assets and loans. Should you have any questions regarding the budget, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will answer all your questions. 

Technology

From a technological point of view, today’s grocery shops are not up to date. Many good solutions already exist or are ready to be developed, that could automate grocery shopping, so that instead of sitting by the cash register, the staff can spend more time helping customers to find exciting products. The system will make it easier for the customer to find the meals and products they want.

The technology solution has come a long way, and is being continuously developed from our office in Skostredet. In brief, our first goal is to develop a payment solution based on the following aspects:

  • Prototyping. Create a system that fulfills the legal requirements regarding payment processing and measuring. This will produce a viable platform that we can develop further. 
  • Design. We want to put the focus on the customer. The innovation is not only creating a system that can handle payment. It is just as important to create a streamlined and positive experience for the customer. 
  • Integration. To make this happen, we are developing a technology with a high degree of integration with your smart phone and platforms such as social media and cloud services. 

When we open Råvarene, the technology solution will be installed gradually. Those supporting us during the crowdfunding will be given the opportunity to take part in beta testing and early editions of Råvarene technological solutions. Help us move grocery shopping into the 21st century! 

Meet the team

Rå Lab is the team behind Råvarene. Rå Lab is a group of social founders who have concerns about the increasing amount of waste in our society and are doing something about it. We are creating an arena for the everyday hero and promoting initiatives that will benefit our ecosystem. Råvarene is our first project. 

The journey

“Talk is metal, silence is silver, action is gold” – Dr. Werner Jackstadt

Talk is metal… I wanted to travel. I had just finished my bachelor’s degree and had to make a choice of either continuing my studies or taking a gap year. My gut was telling me to delve into the unknown. Go. Travel. One year. Discover a purpose. So I gave myself permission to explore the boundaries

Silence is silver... By coincidence I went to Dundalk and worked for National Pen. Believe it or not, I was selling pens! Exactly what I had in mind... A massage in Dublin inspired me to go to Thailand for backpacking where I stumbled upon some monks. 10 days living the simple life without talking, reading or writing.

In January 2015 Anita returned to Bergen after an unforgettable semester in Switzerland where the first step of the entrepreneurial journey took place, with the help of Morten.

It started as a pure reflex to make sure that the monks hadn’t gone to my sister’s head. The older brother syndrome.

I have always had a burning desire to create something, and grabbed the opportunity with Rå Lab. I see great potential in integrating food expertise and circular thinking with technology.

In February we stood on stage at the Venture Cup Regional Finals and met Anders behind the idea QuickCup. We clicked and saw that their payment system is exactly what we imagined for our store. We proceeded to the national finals and three months later Anita and Hilde met on a cider-tasting adventure in Hardanger.

During my studies in England I learned the importance of creating something of value. Dating a surfer made me aware of all the plastic littering the beaches and I chose to highlight the issue in my bachelor thesis in Graphic Design, where in addition to the graduation exhibition in Bath, I also got to showcase my collection in a gallery in Cardiff.

13 years later I took the (final) step. Lavvu Yoga was created and I found my accomplice, the gutsiest woman with a heart of gold, on a cider-tasting adventure in Hardanger in May 2015.

Hilde became business partner. Apple cider bubbles from Hardanger continue to sparkle in the ongoing efforts to create Råvarene. On a waffle pitch at Imact Hub Bergen, Mauricio was sitting in the audience. A few days later he joined a meeting and brought us an important new business connection.

I got a good impression that Rå Lab were genuinely interested in the concept of creating a better everyday life. A concept that will grow beyond just opening a shop.

Another factor as to why I joined was that I felt that with my experience, drive and creative spirit, I would be able to contribute something important. It is vital that we not only make choices according to idealistic thoughts, but that we also look at this as a business where economics is just as important as idealism, otherwise we will not be able to build on it.

Rå Lab are strong in different ways, essentially we complement each other, and this will pave the way for us - I´m sure.

Anita and Anders reconnected. In November Anders took the trip to Bergen and helped out on the ZeroUp! events that were held. On 8 January all five Rå Lab members met. Anders decided to move to Bergen.

I yearn for a circular economy - where we create solutions that take care of the environment, society and ourselves. As an engineer I think a lot of the solutions come from technology and innovation.

I committed myself to society through politics in the Liberal Party and gained confidence as a 21-year-old to stand as a mayoral candidate in Hole Municipality, Buskerud. I was not elected by the citizens, but I learned a lot. About the importance of daring to try.

Along with these founders I think we can create something entirely new, but we must also dare to bet on it. Solutions for a circular economy can be created together. That is why I devote myself to social entrepreneurship in Bergen.

The snowball is rolling. Now it’s time to act.

Action is gold...

Like many others, we wanted to make a positive change, but found it difficult and confusing to know how to do it. It is not always easy to make a change with the abundance of information we face daily.

That is why we are working towards opening Råvarene. We hope to make it easier for those of us who want to be a little more environmentally friendly in our everyday lives. For there are many small things that we can all achieve, to better ourselves, businesses and our ecosystem.

We have realised that there is a gap between environmental attitudes and actual practice - and want to do something about it! We are making good progress.

Milestones

Skostredet 

We managed to secure a venue in Skostredet in Bergen from May 2016 and we are looking forward to becoming part of a cohesive, explorative and unique street.

Office (Lab)

We are truly grateful to Pallas property for the office locals! https://vimeo.com/159198275

ZeroUp! 

We may not have opened our store yet, but we have run pop-up shops.

We saved 30 bags worth of food from being wasted, tested Råvarene as a shop, established relations with several stores and explored the interaction with our potentional collaborators Reindyrka, Agent M, Organic Living, Hei Jude, Impact Hub, Gunfilm og Fermenting Norway, Ania Hatlas and Maria Vignal. In total 115 persons participated.

Business development The store is just one part of the business model, which at a later stage will also include the franchise in other cities and business-to-business in terms of expertise and tools to minimise waste. It is a business with high integrity, which focusses on promoting initiatives and tackles real social challenges. 

Rå Lab as a concept

Rå Lab has evolved to become a community by and for the everyday hero.

Partnership. Garbage and waste is an enormous challenge that requires a large amount of collaboration. Rå Lab will promote a raw lifestyle, foster green solutions and share knowledge. To date we have contributed to promote11 initatives.

Community. Our business is seeking a way to solve an increasing waste problem, with integrity at all levels for long-term value. We want to share our knowledge at workshops and events.

Unity. We have been fortunate enough to get to know an international Zero Waste-environment, where we have listened and learned about their admirable success. This spans all the way from pioner Bea Johnson behind Zero Waste Home, the garbage queen Rannveig Horntvedt from Sandefjord, to the team behind the successful store in.gredients who have been featured in The New York Times and Forbes.

Last, but not least, we have been lucky to have so many helpers and supporters along the way

  • Proofreaders: Christine Melve Ellingsæter and Patricia Villar 
  • Graphic Designer: Ramona Brekkhus 
  • Consulting Engineer: Ivar Alendal 
  • Consulting Architects: Nikita Chhajer and Karl Sarkis 
  • PR intern: Andrea Vik

“I want to say thanks for the opportunity to work towards a positive change and be part of the coolest adventure of all, namely the opening of the Råvarene store"
- PR intern Andrea Vik

We could not have done it without you, thank you!

Rom Kamienbo, Maria Vignal, Ingrid Vaksvik, Kristian Flo, Ania Hatłas, Ida Madsen, Gunnbjörg Gunnarsdóttir, Christine Linn Tøgersen, Anlaug Furu Boddington, Finn del Mundo, Karl Sarkis, Linda Bui, Patricia Villar, Margrethe Vikan Sæbø, Rumen Rachev, Anette B. Wahl, Tobias Tønnessen, Javier Perez Rodenas, Prestgaard/Andersen, Folkelig, Grønare Kvardag, Matgilde mot Hungersnød, Bærekraftige Liv, Fremtiden i våre hender, Sandefjord Søppelplukkelag, Strandryddedagen, Klimafestivalen, Bergen Brainstorm, Design Region Bergen, Business Region Bergen, SpareBank1, Slow Food Youth, Oikos Norge, Sagen (fløyen treverk), Souk, Siv Lier, Psilentfilm, Doosai Marzil, Agent M, Hallaisen, Hjartegodt, Hei Jude, Armadillo, Voss Adventures, Dråpen vinbar, Trolljeger, Happy Food Stories, lavFODMAP, Veganmannen, Veganmisjonen, Matmagi, Hanna Skartveit, Reindyrka, Matkollektivet, Mølleren Sylvia, FatogFe, Bondens Marked, Organic Living, Norganic, Impact Hub, NHH, CEMS, Merkurprogrammet, Hordaland Fylkeskommune, Innovasjon Norge, Venture Cup.

Claire Barou likes this update.

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