Emilie Vanpoperinghe is the co-founder of Oddbox, the only fruit and veg delivery service in London that delivers wonky produce destined to otherwise become waste. Earlier this year it smashed its crowdfunding campaign target, raising more than £500,000 to expand its operations across London.
What does your organisation do and how is it challenging the industry status quo?
Oddbox is London’s first and only fruit and veg box delivery scheme focusing purely on wonky and surplus produce.
We work with over 35 local growers to source slightly imperfect but equally delicious produce for a fair price directly from farms.
We deliver it straight to customers for 30per cent cheaper than similar box services. We also donate up to 10per cent of our produce to charities that fight food poverty.
Why is this disruptive model critical for tackling environmental challenges?
Food waste isn’t just about food – it has huge environmental consequences as well.
If the global amount of food we waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the USA.
By making it our mission to rescue as much food as we can, as well as work to educate people about the impact of food waste and why growers are forced to over-produce and then waste 30per cent of their crop, we’re directly challenging food waste and businesses operating with damaging environmental consequences.
What can policymakers do to accelerate green economic transformation?
Listen and act accordingly and swiftly. Several countries are a lot more advanced in how they address the issues of food and plastic waste, with even small African countries like Rwanda having banned plastic bags for several years now.
I hope our policymakers can learn from other leaders as they now have the backing from people.
What advice would you give to a green start-up looking to shake up a market today?
Partner with others. Share. Get your community on board. Start small and progress towards a big shiny goal day after day.
Invest in your team. Hire good talent because there is plenty out there and you cannot do it all alone.