Tesco have launched a new initiative to provide crowdfunding for food waste projects.
The supermarket chain, which has already committed to reducing food waste, is now appealing to entrepreneurs to come up with food waste products.
The new platform is called BackIt. Tesco are looking for ways to eliminate food waste across the entirety of their supply chain, and want entrepreneurs to help.
The platform will help small businesses and start-ups bring their ideas to market, preferably starting with the chain itself.
The first entrepreneur to join the scheme has been Hannah McCollum, who founded ChicP. Her business seeks to produce hummus made from surplus vegetables, many of which are rejected for their wonky shapes. Her idea is to turn these raw vegetables into a new food which can then be sold to consumers. The business, according to the website, arose from a determination to change the way food waste is approached.
The new platform will allow the business to scale up, as well as offering advice from industry experts as to how the business can grow. ChicP is already seeing success, with stocks in London delis such as Sonny’s Kitchen and the Rude Health Cafe.
“I hate wasting food, and I know I’m not the only one. Creating ChicP has enabled me to combine my desire to reduce food waste with being able to produce delicious, healthy hummus,” McCollum said. “I can’t wait to see where my business goes from here and hope that other people who want to help stop food waste come forward and turn their food waste busting dreams, into tomorrow’s solutions.”
BackIt currently supports 5 ventures. The others currently in the list are PaPa Spice, Angus & Oink, and Fries Guys Loaded Fries Sauce.
This is simply the latest in a line of efforts that Tesco have been making to improve their sustainability.
They have already committed to a promise that they will not waste any food which is safe for consumption by the end of 2017. They are the first supermarket in the UK to have made this kind of pledge, but it is hoped that others will follow in their footsteps to ensure that food waste in the country is decreased massively.
Michael Francis, director of business development at Tesco, added: “We are really excited to welcome ChicP to BackIt and to offer people the chance to support an innovative and brilliant food waste solving business. Food waste is something that Tesco takes very seriously and is an issue that we have a responsibility to work together to solve. It’s businesses like ChicP that will help us do just that. We are now looking for other brilliant food waste businesses to come forward and help us fight food waste. There’s room for many more on the platform and the BackIt team can offer you the help and support you need to bring your product to life.”
There are already a number of companies operating in the UK to reduce food waste. For example, you can have boxes of wonky vegetables delivered to you which would otherwise be send to food waste. You can also choose to go to independent retailers who sell all shapes and sizes of vegetables.
If you are involved in fresh produce work, you may be able to help with sustainability from within your job. The majority of food waste in fresh produce is created because fruit and vegetables are not deemed suitable for sale. By cutting this out, and only creating food waste with damaged or rotten fruit and vegetables, sustainability can be increased.