Saving thousands of tonnes of perfectly healthy but un-perfectly formed farm fruit & veg.
Turning unwanted food into somebody's meal.
The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you
Country of residence of entrepreneur
Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?
I am passionate about living in harmony with the environment and conserving as much of its resources as possible. After 2 years living in China and travels through Asia and South America, where so many people are only concerned with how to feed the family for the day, the frivolous and wasteful nature of our food consumption is truly in need of attention.
I have worked for 3 years in finance in London with exposure to the business world, and for the last year or so I have been running my own eco-decoration business in Sweden concerned with recycling, re-using, redecorating. I have contacts in different industries that are willing to contributr their time and skills. Most of all I have the belief and ambition to set this scheme up and I have the necessary passion to commit to a cause I believe in.
About Your Organization
coming soon at bendycarrots.com
Sweden, ST, Stockholm
Country where this project is creating social impact
Sweden, ST, Stockholm
Is your organization a
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The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The Problem: Food wastage, at all levels, from farming to supermarket to consumer.
Farms are throwing away thousands of tonnes of fruit and veg, milk and yoghurt for being the wrong shape or size. The supermarkets wont buy the produce because the consumer doesn't want them.
Further issues for development are the consumer throwing away thousands of Kroners/Pounds worth of food each year, restaurants throwing away much of their unused food and supermarkets throwing away many products just at the sell-by date.
Even further we could go into the tonnes of unnecessary food packaging produced.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Utilise: receive the reject produce as donations from farms and sell at low cost to supermarkets who can in turn sell as lower priced fruit/veg.
Branding: create a recognisable brand 'bendy carrots' to encourage supermarkets to buy the reject veg and sell under the bendy carrot brand. This in turn encourages the consumer and confronts them with a choice of cheaper less shapely veg.
Publicity: raise public awareness of the issues and build campaigns for consumer/supermarkets to buy / sell knobbly bendy food products.
Further development: fund the utilisation of restaurant and supermarket wastage. Take reject food from restaurants and supermarkets and deliver to low income families / immigrants / homeless shelters / people who need food.
Further development: educate the public on how to use up left-overs and reduce food wastage.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
The farms give us their misshapen fruit and veg - their bendy carrots and knobbly potatoes. We sell them to the supermarkets at a very low cost, who pass the saving onto the consumer.
We simultaneously raise awareness and brand ourselves so that both the farms and the supermarkets are willing to take part in our scheme, and the consumer is aware of the brand and the campaign and can buy funny shaped veg knowing there is nothing wrong with it.
We stop farms throwing away tonnes of perfectly edible food.
We roll out the scheme in Major cities in Sweden and then onto the UK.
With the income we can fund the pick up and delivery of waste food from supermarkets and restaurants to citizens who need it most.
The cost of food is relatively high in Sweden, so recent immigrants or low income families may find it difficult to feed their families, or find they spend the majority of their budget on the supermarket shop. This scheme both helps people save money buy lower the cost of produce where willing to buy unshapely goods, and funds delivery of food, that would be otherwise thrown away by restaurants and supermarkets, to homeless shelters who in turn save expense on food and can spend money on better things.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
There are no current charities or business doing the same thing- taking reject fruit and veg produce and putting into the marketplace. The main challenge would be to break through to the supermarkets and the public with this new concept.
We want to differentiate ourselves by creating a brand for the scheme that supermarkets and restaurants can be proud to take part in and publicise the very fact that they are part of it.
As for the pick up and delivery part, charities taking waste food and giving to homeless would be our peers. But there are still many places not involved in such schemes. I know of a business throwing away often a thousand sandwiches at the end of the day, wanting to give them to charity, some saying they have no delivery means, and still not knowing who to contact.
Select the stage that best applies to your business
Operating for less than a year
This Entry is about (Issues)
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?
This is an idea that I want to set up and put into action. I want to create social awareness of food wastage and change the general public's purchasing behaviour.
At the same time support a system that utilises the waste/reject food that our society throws away.
What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?
Getting all the players involved:
We need to convince farms to support our scheme by giving us their reject products and convince supermarkets to sell them as a cheaper alternative to perfect shaped goods and promote them as supporting the 'bendy carrot sustainability scheme'.
We need to convince restaurants etc to pay us small a small fee to take their waste food and deliver to the needy - in turn achieve 'bendy carrot certified' status. (they can also buy and use the misshapen veg!)
We need to build a brand for our scheme and generate awareness of it so that all parties want the publicity of being part of bendy carrot.
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?
The supermarkets will sell the products for us and generate income. If we generate enough awareness and branding then aim is for the farms to donate the reject veg and the supermarket to sell for no profit. I this is not the case and both parties want a cut then the income is reduced.
The publicity and branding will also encourage restaurants etc to donate waste food and to pay small fee for collection and delivery to those in need.
The income collected funds promotion of the scheme and organisation and delivery of the food.
The scheme may also need to take financial donations and volunteers to get it off the ground.
Income will go to educating the public on food wastage, how they can reduce it, and putting them as ease with less than perfect veg!
Throwing away food is wasting precious energy and environmental resources. Our scheme helps toward environmental sustainability.
Delivery vehicles will be eco/green.
Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?
If enough social entrepreneurs are encouraged in the developing nations, in the desire for market economy and capitalism, it's strengths can be utilised and some of the shortfalls can be avoided.
The same schemes or systems that are successful here can be utilised in developing countries, for example in India and China's mega cities where you have a large wealth gap and disparagy in living standards, and many inequalities.
Social entrepreneurs can really change the way people think and view the systems they live in. We need as many as possible to have a positive influence on the world and it's people and make a change in people thinking.
What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?
I find it hard to imagine what part of it will be challenging, although I have seen a lot of poverty and inequality around the world and this never fails to sadden me.
W hen I think of a trip such as this to Uganda, I can see excitement, learning, inspiration, cultural awareness, new relationships and new experiences.