The data is unambiguous and frightening. We are eating ourselves to death. Literally. Strange way for the wisest, most successful species on the planet to behave, don’t you think?

The world we have created is not the world our bodies and brains expected to inhabit. And we are paying the price. According to the World Health Organization, obesity has tripled since 1975. Over 1.9 billion people are overweight; a third of whom are obese. For the vast majority of human history, starvation and malnutrition were among the greatest threats to our survival. In 2020, overeating is the norm and obesity is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide.

When it comes to the subject of gluttony and obesity, we are quick to pass the blame. Whether it’s greedy corporations, the convenience of addictive, ultra-processed food, misleading advertising, or a lack of healthy options, there is a litany of reasons why our relationship with food is as noxious as ever. And while they are valid reasons, the biggest reason underlying our addiction to food is rarely spoken about. …


A bit off-topic, but thought of sharing it with my readers.

A learning culture, or a culture of learning, is where employees continue to seek, share, and apply new skills, competencies, and knowledge.

This approach benefits both the employees by helping to elevate the employee as a person and as a worker. It benefits the organization by affording them opportunities to transform as their employees grow.

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Illustration: treskiddos/TOSLA

Talent development leaders, which you can think of as coaches, say that for a learning culture to be possible an organization must have:

· Closely aligned learning and business strategies.

· Values that affirm the importance of learning.

· An atmosphere where learning is ingrained it’s simply a way of life for the business. …


Food tech is scrambling to create tasty, cheap food products that don’t expand our waistlines. Sound too good to be true? Unfortunately, it is.

A quick look at the rates of obesity and food-related illness will show you that gluttony is a sin we don’t mind committing. Globally, the rate of obesity has tripled since 1975. Around 2.1 billion people worldwide are overweight, a third of whom are obese. We regularly consume more food than our bodies need and we’re quietly hoping we can avoid the consequences without having to change.

Along with gluttony, lust is another old-school physical sin alive and well today. While we are eating more processed, fatty foods than ever before, there is also a strong desire to remain slim, physically attractive, and sexually available. …


Boost your startup's productivity by having better meetings.

Everyone has sat in a meeting and asked themselves, “Why am I here again?” or maybe you’ve sat in meetings and attempted to estimate how much money you waste.

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Illustration: treskiddos/TOSLA

Meetings Suck! When meetings become dysfunctional, they bring nothing useful to the company. There is a time for meetings, but many meetings are inefficient and should have taken part as email communication.

When I left private equity advisory and founded Tosla, I wanted to build an agile food technology-driven company. Dysfunctional meetings were headaches that I did not want to bring with me to my new company. How much would you guess is wasted each year on unproductive meetings? Whatever your guess, it’s too much. …


2019 measures by the EU may offer competitive advantage opportunities to SME food companies in the era of COVID-19.

“Most countries under that system, the iron curtain long ago gave way to membership of the EU and its single market. Yet consumers and politicians in the East remain convinced that goods sold in Western Europe — even well-known brands made by multinationals — are of superior quality to those sold under the same branding in their countries.” (Guardian)

The practice of dual quality standards is a long-term method used by multinational food companies and private label retail organizations. The companies in question generally produce multiple products similar in the finish but with different ingredients of varying quality. They then sell these products with an identical or similar label in two different markets. For the purpose of representation, I will limit my text to two different European states. More specifically, they sell the lower quality product to Eastern member states commonly thought to have lower food standards in general. By doing so they were able to eliminate local competition with a false price-quality performance representation. Making most of the smaller and less developed EU states food import junkies. …


How I Created a Powerful Homegrown B2B Brand without Investment.

One rainy day back in 2014, I was sitting down with a newspaper and a cup of tea. I was reading about state-funded research into the viability of building a domestic sugar factory in my neighborhood. This might not have been anything unusual, but for the fact that ten years earlier, we already had a local sugar factory here which had failed dramatically. Here was a genuine possibility that a pile of hard-earned taxpayers’ money was about to be channeled into repeating the same mistake. So why were the powers that be entertaining the idea again at all? …


A lack of sales projections can mean that B2B start-ups are left flapping around in the dark when it comes to ordering. So why are traditional contracting models still being applied by B2B suppliers, which threaten the integrity of the relationship and the very ability of the start-up to stay afloat?

As a homegrown food company and start-up, I have found that business must be conducted one day at a time. When a company is new on the ground, there is very little data to create any sales projections, and hence, ordering can be a dangerous game at the best of times. Much of it is based on guesswork and ‘asking around’ the industry, not to mention utilizing Google.

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Illustration: treskiddos/TOSLA

I struggle to find value in the traditional model of contracting for us as a small business. Traditional contracting requires numbers that are set in stone, and prices are based on this. So, if you want the product at a cheaper rate, you must order a specific number. Then, you must commit to that number. Not only can this be a logistical nightmare, but it also creates a rocky partnership between the two businesses from the outset. As a small business, you are working hard to build a reputation for yourself. So, breaking contracts from the beginning is not ideal. Yet, the lack of sales projections means that you can only make gross calculations as to your requirements. …


One founder’s food innovation journey and lessons learned.

I consider myself a decent person. I started and finished college on time and landed my first job just one month after graduating. I decided to get married ASAP and start my family as soon as possible. At the time, I was sure I wanted a big family, but I am now more than satisfied with my perfect family of four.

I am a person who likes to get up early, but I also like to watch good movies until late, not always a great combination my family and colleagues will tell you I am sure.

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Illustration: treskiddos/TOSLA

I am the owner of a food startup Tosla and am definitely guilty of not giving myself enough slack, time to unwind and look after myself, but I believe I must do my best out of respect for my colleagues and the work they put in every day to help make my business a success. …


Trade show organizers are netting billions of dollars in annual profits. But for food start-ups like us who are looking to attend these events, is the financial cost, labor, and stress still worth it?

“Trade show leads are like milk — they have a short shelf life, so don’t waste valuable time.” — Marlys Arnold

Since Roman times, budding food entrepreneurs have been told that trade shows and exhibitions are an extraordinary way of drumming up new business.

“Go to a trade show’ they said; ‘Invest in a stand and free samples’ they said; ‘If you build it, they will come’.”

Sadly, the reality of a food entrepreneur isn’t quite as straightforward as ‘Field of Dreams’. The first time we invested in a run of trade shows, we spent, on average, 25,000 euros per event. …


Big data may offer a competitive advantage for businesses that can now adapt quickly to changing markets. But for smaller businesses without such data abundance, can diversity strategy offer a reasonable alternative?

Companies based in Western Europe are generally renowned for their speed, ability to adapt, and their innovation. But competitive advantage born from such qualities did not evolve naturally. These companies have worked hard to change and develop specific management philosophies and skills.

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Illustration: treskiddos/TOSLA

A prime example is the Swiss giant Nestle. The global competitiveness that Nestle has enjoyed has come, at least partially, from diversification of its leadership pipeline and outward-looking management culture.

50% of Nestle’s senior marketing leaders are now female, and 41% of its junior associates are from ethnically diverse backgrounds. …

About

Primoz Artac

Food Science & Tehnology Entrepreneur, Food startup CEO @ www.tosla.si, #1 dad of 2 girls :)

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