Written By Tinia Pina
Priti Ambani wrote a great article recently highlighting the issue of food waste and how, like any other challenge, this creates a great opportunity to create both impact and a viable venture. We couldn’t agree more, but what caught our interest the most was when Ambani eluded to the notion of “safety-net entrepreneurs”. These change agents create tighter business models around situations or challenges that typically fall through the cracks.
There are immense inefficiencies of which these “safety-net entrepreneurs” could solve within the food production and food service industries. Many of the fundamental problems lie in the areas of food distribution, preservation, and allocation but few sustainable solutions have been identified that can be scaled efficiently and add value to the food supply chain. To add numerical context, The World Food Programme reports that, ” there is enough food available to feed the global population of 7 billion people. And yet one out of every eight people is going hungry.” Has this become a global challenge too large for one non-profit, social enterprise or NGO to address? Would collaboration between enterprises help close close this gap sooner or introduce too many problems such as an overlap in missions, channel conflict, or a logistical nightmare?
Collaboration is Key
Collaboration is Key
We believe, as with any like-minded partnership, that complementary business models can mend these cracks. With poverty such a large issue, why should it be tackled alone? We are thrilled to be connected with incredible organizations all across this country like Food Shift. Together, despite our current locations we can partner to fight poverty and hunger. Food Shift is an Oakland, California based non-profit that is dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system that curbs waste, empowers communities, respects the environment and nourishes all. Food Shift works to build a more just and sustainable food system which prioritizes food waste reduction as an integral component of the environmental, sustainability, and food justice movements. Working primarily in the East Bay, they create replicable programs and tools which can be implemented and utilized all over the United States to divert food loss in homes, businesses and municipalities. Food Shift focuses on education, collaborative business partnerships and the creation of a food recovery service sector. 750 million dollars each year for the disposal of food is an unnecessary and inefficient use of food, labor and money. Food Shift is working to make the case that just a fraction of those funds could support a food recovery service sector. Their service model is clearly a discernible win-win and blends nicely with our mission to reuse the residual of the food waste stream that can no longer be recovered and served to animals and/or humans. As milk and sugar always go well in your coffee, an organization like Food Shift and Re-Nuble would complement each other well in creating solutions for the roots of hunger, environmental exploitation, and agricultural infrastructure. Solving the social and environmental impacts of food waste is going to take multiple organizations working at all different levels. We are thrilled to be part of a web that is being woven of resourceful and innovative organizations tackling this problem across the country.
We wish Dana Frasz the very best in scaling Food Shift’s laudable mission. Since meeting her at SOCAP conference in September of 2012, we have been inspired to seek local enterprise models with similar missions and are currently working to create partnerships that help us extend our impact and exploit the highest social benefits of food waste.
Join us today to help us achieve our mission. If not for environmental or health reasons – do it because Re-Nuble’s mission also plays a small role in eradicating global poverty and spurring local economic development.