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Házikó Farm Ltd

Country
Hungary
Business type
Food manufacturer
Time
4 months
Design
Agri Kulti
Design support
Dedushkov

Background 

Food manufacturing company Házikó (translated to 'little house') was established in 2014 by entrepreneurs Gábor Bertényi and Mihály Szalai in the heart of Budapest.

Bertényi and Szalai made a critical observation in the agricultural commerce. Due to a lack of resources, rural farmers struggled to transport and deliver high-quality, minimally processed food at a resonable price.  Házikó identified the issue could be fixed by shortening and controlling the supply chain. They argued that although this business model would result in more expensive products, urban customers were willing to pay the higher price for locally produced and sustainable food.

Their business model ensures the most efficient and satisfactory experience for all stakeholders, maintaining a small diversified, but specialised, organisation. As Gábor Bertényi, co-founder and owner of Házikó explains: "The aim of Házikó is to reconnet the city and the countryside by rethinking, rebuilding, and redesigning their relationship and connection. Our whole strategy, supply chain management, marketing communication and operational management is designed to serve this purpose. As we are a small team of experts from different fields, we all have the primary goal in mind and are flexible to adapt our activities to it." 

The aim of Házikó is to reconnect the city and the countryside by rethinking, rebuilding and redesigning their relationship and connection.

Gábor Bertényi, co-founder of Házikó

How design helped

Házikó worked with different design methodologies in collaboration with rural development company, Agri Kulti, through a research-workshop investigating farmers' needs. In co-creation with farmers, they identified particular key insights which highlighted some prerequisites for engaging in partnerships with rural farmers. For example, they found that the volume bought from small scale farmers had to balance with their other sources of income (such as local markets). Consumer insights included the need for transparency which was to be achieved by a labelling system listing the origin of ingredients and identifying the specific farmer. 

As Gábor Bertényi, co-founder and owner of Házikó explains: "Our experiences in the field of agroecology, sustainable rural development and sociology have allowed us to define and refine the sustainable business model of Házikó. Although we work as a for-profit company, our strong commitment towards environment and social principles means that with our operation we lead by example: envision a sustainable food supply chain which can be adopted, redesigned and applied under the other circumstances as well. Strong leadership is required to aim for such a vision and strategic view." 

These insights led to a strategy where Házikó framed which conditions were needed to engage in partnership. In practice, Házikó evaluates the environmental and social impact of the produce, which demands farmers to maintain a high-quality product.  Házikó can in turn, provide a stable partnership and thereby ensure that farmers receive a reasonable income. 

 

They exemplify how design methods such as co-creation as well as diversified and customer-centric product solutions enables business to establish a unique selling position in a market.

By using design strategically the company identified a business opportunity by understanding the producers and consumers needs and differentiating themselves from their competitors. Through a diverse skillset applying sociological, economical and marketing knowledge Házikó has built a business around comprehensive understanding of their stakeholders and their needs. They exemplify how design methods such as co-creation as well as diversified teams and customer-centric product solutions enables businesses to establish a unique selling position in a market. 
 

Outcome

Házikó contributes to the local economy by having created stable partnerships with 40 local farmers and serving 'Green Lunches' to 300 partners across Budapest. 

Their business model proves that businesses within the food industry can succeed by strategically working with sustainable values. The short food supply chain has challenged the market of imported products and encouraged farmers to put most of their effort into what they do best: using their knowledge to grow high-quality food, while Házikó engages in packaging, advertising and supplying prodcuts for the market. 

By recognising the need for alternative ways of supplying and producing healthy and sustainable food, and acting upon this through design methods, Házikó has paved the way as an innovator in sustainable manufacturing within the European food industry. 

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