Kromkommer (Crookedcumber)

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Kromkommer (Crookedcumber)

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Throwing away vegetables because their looks are not perfect? Kromkommer battles food waste by bringing wonky but otherwise perfectly edibble veggies back on your plate. We do so by linking different stakeholders in the food chain, by campaigning and by making our own products.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

5 to 10% of vegetables are wasted simply because they are not perfectly straight, shiny and mainstream: they are the crooked cucumbers, twinto matoes and other funny fellows. At the same time, almost one billion people suffer from hunger and the impact of our food production on the planet is tremendous. Something seems to be wrong in our system... However, it's not only a problem: it also a great opportunity to feed the world.... on waste.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Kromkommer brings wonky veggies back on our plates. Wonkies are more fun, tasty and just as nutritious as their perfect brothers and sisters, so why throw them away? In a fun and positive way, we make the world aware of food waste. In addition, we offer solutions. We cooperate with growers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, consumers and other stakeholders to bring the wonkies back in the food chain. This summer we will launch a product line of jams, chutneys and other products made of wonkies and our wonkies will be sold at a wholesaler during a pilot project. In addition we organize no-waste dinners, events and do catering. If you want wonkies back on your plate, join our Krommunity via facebook.com/kromkommer or @Krommunity!
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Aren't there so many things we could do better or more sustainably? But you know, life is hard enough, so we don't really want to listen to it anymore. But then, what if you taste this delicious soup and you find out it's made of waste? Or you see the cutest heart-shaped tomato straight from the bin? Suddenly you realize that food waste is ridiculous. Luckily, you can now go to a restaurant that cooks with Kromkommer vegetables, buy a nice chutney made of wonkies or order a no-waste catering for your corporate event. We connect all the stakeholders from farm to fork to change the system in the long run. So far we have created a Krommunity around the topic, made many people aware and involved and saved hundreds of kilo's of food from the bin

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The most important goal of Kromkommer is to change the food system and make sure all vegetables that are of good quality will be eaten regardless of their looks. We do a number of pilot projects with wholesalers, restaurants and retailers to test the reaction of consumers. The impact is mainly qualitative (increased awareness of the problem and opportunities and increased intention to change among different stakeholders) as the numbers (kilos of vegetables) are still small. In our product line we can count the amount of kilo's being processed. After we launch the product line, we expect to sell at least 5000 items during the first 4 months and plan to increase this over time. Though the amount of kilo's of food 'saved' is still relatively small, we do reach a lot of people through our campaigns and the media attention it receives.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We are currently testing three business models. After the year 2013 we will make an overview of the results and see which business models offer the best opportunities. The business models we are testing are: - creating the brand Kromkommer and helping other parties (wholesalers, retailers and restaurants) to sell wonky vegetables to their customers. - selling our own line of products made of wonkies - no-waste catering and event management

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The topic of food waste is receiving more and more attention by all stakeholders lately. There have been various initiatives by growers and growers cooperatives to process and market 'waste'. However, they have had limited success, in our eyes due to their relatively large distance to the consumer/market and lack of effective marketing and communication. Otherwise, there is surprisingly little activity in the Dutch 'wonky market'. We do cooperate with various parties that are involved with decreasing food waste. These include (e.g.) governmental organisations as well as other startups.
Team

Founding Story

For a course we were involved with different sustainability issues and we felt the heavy weight of the world problems on our shoulders. The only way to relieve that burden was to take action. So we went dumpster diving at the market and supermarkets and shops in our neighborhood and were SHOCKED by the amount of great food we found. Together with friends and classmates we enjoyed the abundant meals we could create after our dumpsterdiving tour. We also found that at the local growers there were containers full of good-quality, tasty but funny-looking vegetables. We couldn't understand why these beauties were wasted and saw an opportunity to tackle the food waste problem in a fun way: by getting the wonkies back on our plate!