Transforming ugly fruits in beautiful opportunities
Elevator Pitch: Share a concise summary. Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.
Rescue&transformation of ugly fruits in healthy products in order to connect 2 problems: food waste & unemployment. In this process, people at risk of exclusion are offered a job, becoming, hence the main drivers of the change, which aims at educating society in the love of perfect 'imperfections'
WHAT IF Inspiration: What's one way your project dares to ask, “WHAT IF?”
What if an ugly potato could save a hungry person and the other way around?
Problem: What problem does your solution address?
FOOD WASTE AND POVERTY, THE TWO SIDES OF THE PROBLEM: Spain is the sixth european country where food is most wasted. 7.7 million tons of food (163 kg on average per person / year) that might have been consumed, or that could have had another use, end up in the trash every year. A fact that is even more scandalous, if we contrasted with the damage caused by the crisis, which increased up to 27% the risk of poverty of the Spanish population.
Solution: What is the proposed solution?
Collection of fruit and vegetables that get wasted ('ugly fruits'). One part, is transformed into nutritious products (jams, juices, sauces, creams) marketed in a 'nice, cool and human' way. The rest, is donated to social organizations, in order to directly tackle the hunger issue. However, our business idea is not only based on providing a solution, but also in drawing opportunities. Therefore the processes of collection and production are performed mainly by groups at risk of social exclusion, promoting this way their dignity and bringing more life and job opportunities for them. As a consequence of this new system, society gets educated about the importance of 'imperfections & 2nd chances' (for food (wasted) & for people (unemployed))
What awards or honors has the project received?
Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how your solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Silvia has been unemployed for three years, has 2 children and no access to healthy food. She looks for food in containers and get it from donations. She has no opportunities to escape her situation. Espigoladors will allow her to:
- get back her self-esteem
- learn how to transform the food products that later will be sold
- return back to other people in similar conditions what she's got
We break the model of charity towards a model of social transformation
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?
Since we are in the process of starting the pilot test, we still don't count on exact figures. Future Expected Impact:
- Reduction of the rate of fruit and vegetable waste (by offering
an alternative solution for those companies and individuals which would throw away that food in a normal case)
- Generation of opportunities for people at risk of social exclusion (creation of jobs)
- Increase of the number of people in risk of social exclusion that has access to the indicated number of fruits or vegetables a day (3-5 portions a day)
- Increase of healthy habits among society
- Raise of the awareness regarding the serious problem of
food waste and the different alternatives to avoid that food waste
Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward?
- Replication of the model in other geographic areas (same indicators)
- Become the first brand for food quality products which are social responsible made from 'ugly food'
- Change consumption habits promoting healthy eating like fruits by incorporating imperfect products in the market and making them available to consumers in a funny way so that they are better accepted.
- We provide a solution to food companies and producers to socially contribute, aligned with their business strategy.
- We want to recover the profession of gleaners as a new sector of occupation.
Sustainability Plan: What is this solution's plan to ensure financial sustainability?
Our main source of income will come from the commercialization of 4 lines of products: fruit juices, creamed vegetables, sauces and jams. They are characterized by being crafted by artisans with local food, and perceived as quality and healthy products. They will be marketed under a social and sustainable brand, in a human & original way that will differentiate the product, spreading the love for the 'ugliness' and converting it into sales.
Funding: How is your project financial supported?
Friends and family, Foundations, Businesses, Customers.
Marketplace: Who else is addressing this problem and how does the proposed solution differ from these approaches?
There is no similar model in Spain. Our idea is based on similar projects implemented abroad such as:
- Rubbies in the Rubble in the United Kingdom,
- DC Central Kitchen. U.S.
- Food Cycle: United Kingdom
Although our model integrates elements of all three, it follows a different approach: Espigoladors doesn't buy the raw materials, but collects all fruits and vegetables to elaborate the products and it also donates a part of it to social entities.
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.
While nearly one billion people living under poverty and at risk of malnutrition in the world (1 in 7 people on this planet suffers the scourge of hunger), 89 million tons of food are wasted in good condition each year in the European Union, 7,7 million tons in Spain and 260,000 in Catalonia.
One day we decided to be part of the solution and not the problem by creating a model of social transformation... And inspired by the 'imperfect foods' we started to create a new model that integrates different realities.
Team: What roles does your team consist of (i.e. full-time vs. part-time staff, volunteers, board members, etc) and how do you plan to expand the team as the project grows?
Mireia Barba, Project Leader. Full time. (38 years)
Maria Rodeja, Marketing Strategy Responsible. part-time (22 years)
Marina Pons, Community Manager, (contributor). (36 years)
Jaume Deu, Webmaster ,(contributor) (36 years)
Jordi Bruna, Finances Responsible, (contributor). (37 years)