As part of our research, we’ve spent the last few weeks contacting and asking for interviews to people that are important for the development of the project. With this, we expected to get to know, and understand, a little bit better the reality of each party involved, as well as to hear whatever they had to say regarding their work, their motivations, their needs, Barcelona, and what they thought of the project itself.
The way we decided to proceed was by contacting essential people that could represent our main stakeholders and, for now, we have spoken to three of them: distributors, chefs, and research centers. Here, we’ll share with you the immensely useful information we’ve gathered from them.
The interviews consisted in four main themes, which were their story or general background, how they perceived Barcelona as a city in general, their needs as workers and citizens of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, and what they thought about the possible development of a Food Innovation Hub.
What we discovered is that, even though each one of them is focused on a different stage of the food industry, all are incredibly interested in the final user, their health, and giving all of the citizens equal opportunities related to food. Also, they all spoke a lot about waste throughout the whole food chain and about different strategies to engage and educate people regarding it.
When asked about Barcelona, the three parties mentioned that it is the perfect place for developing projects about innovation in any ambit. This is because of its weather, its location, and its size. Being Barcelona a Mediterranean city, it has very friendly weather throughout the whole year, which makes it a very pleasant city to live in.
On the other hand, Barcelona has a privileged location which makes it well-connected to the rest of Europe and Spain: it can be reached by sea, land, and air. And last but not least, Barcelona has a perfect size which makes it small enough for it to be super easy to transit but big enough because it has everything one might need and more.
As the conversation kept going, we asked all our interviewees what they thought was their main challenge or problem while doing their job. Among more specific information, we discovered that all of them agreed that Barcelona has a lot of resources, and many people working towards the same goal, but none of them are communicating at all.
This makes it difficult because what some companies and/or associations have is what others are lacking. And there is not a platform nor connection that makes communication possible between these two parties. They also said that they think Barcelona doesn’t need a Food Innovation Hub by itself: “these already exist, maybe not with the same name or the same structure, but people are already doing what you’re trying to do.”
Saying this, we discovered that maybe the development of a Food Innovation Hub is not necessary, because what we are lacking is not a platform, but a channel or a system to engage the different stakeholders. We don’t need a space, we need to find a way to help them communicate in a more direct, clearer way with each other.