Insights from industry

Reducing Food Waste and Building a Circular Food System: Insights from the Founder of Too Good To Go

insights from industryJamie CrummieCo-FounderToo Good to Go

AZoCleantech speaks to Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good to Go, the world's largest marketplace for surplus food. As a keynote speaker at the Online Retailer conference at the ICC Sydney on 19 and 20 July, Jamie brings a wealth of expertise in fighting to reverse food waste, driving sustainability, and revolutionizing the food industry. In this interview, we delve into the inspiring story behind the creation of Too Good To Go, its success, and the pivotal role it plays in reducing food waste across the value chain.

What inspired you to create the food app Too Good To Go?

I have always been motivated by making a social and environmental impact. While living in Australia, I worked for an events organization where I saw a vast amount of food wasted, which profoundly affected me. When I moved back to the UK, I was inspired by people dumpster diving, but I wanted to see how we could rescue the food before it hit the bins in the first place.

What do you believe has been the driving force behind Too Good To Go’s success?

Our win-win-win solution is part of our success. Our model ensures that food does not need to go to waste. Instead, users can collect food at prices that do not cost the earth and do something positive for the planet. Stores using the app can reduce their waste disposal costs, recover sunk costs and attract new customers while reducing food waste, and ultimately, it is a win for the planet.

In addition, our community of customers and partnering stores are the heroes behind our capacity to deliver impact. Our customers stop millions of meals from going to waste, and our partner stores and their teams pack the surprise bags rather than wasting food.

A recent WWF report estimates that 2.5 billion tons of food is thrown away every year. How is Too Good To Go helping to reduce this?

Here at Too Good To Go, we are helping to reduce food waste across the value chain through our technology by inspiring and empowering people to address food waste together.

food waste, too good to go

Image Credit: ArieStudio/Shutterstock.com

At the core is our mobile app, a marketplace that enables customers to rescue food from participating food businesses so it does not go to waste. Customers of our app can save a surprise bag of food for a reduced price, from retailers to high street coffee chains and bakeries to your local café or greengrocer. In addition, we have launched our Date Label initiative to reduce food waste within the home. We have partnered with FMCG brands and retailers to communicate on pack through a label that once food has gone beyond its best-before date, it is still safe to consume. We encourage people to look, smell and taste the food to assess its quality.

Introducing ‘Look, Smell, Taste, Don’t Waste’

Video Credit: Too Good to Go UK/YouTube.com

What impact does food waste have on society and the environment?

Around 40% of the food we produce is wasted, which has financial, social, and environmental impacts.

Over 880 million people go to bed hungry worldwide, yet more than enough food is being produced to feed everyone (FAO). Food waste accounts for 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that if food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China.

How important is it that restaurants and grocery stores forge connections with enterprises like Too Good To Go to ensure a circular food economy is developed?

We are in a climate and cost of living crisis, so we think utilizing our resources through a circular economy is essential rather than wasting them. Given that our food system has a significant environmental impact, food businesses can make a positive environmental impact by utilizing tools like Too Good To Go. At the same time, when the operational costs of running a business are high, it is an opportunity to recover sunk costs.

What do you believe is the future of the food industry and how could we build an overall better food system?

Ultimately, I see a better food system as one that is bereft of waste. When we are wasting food, we are wasting all the resources that have gone into producing that food, not just the plate in front of us. I see food waste as the low-hanging fruit and one of the first steps to transitioning into a more resilient food system.

Can you share success stories or case studies highlighting your company's positive impact?

We have rescued over 230 million meals from going to waste in under eight years of operations across 17 countries in two continents.

Where can readers find more information?

Here is a link to our 2022 Impact Report: https://www.toogoodtogo.com/en-gb/download/2022-impact-report

On 19-20 July at the ICC Sydney, Jamie Crummie will be a keynote speaker at Online Retailer, Australia's leading industry conference for e-commerce. 

About Jamie Crummie

Jamie Crummie trained as a lawyer, having studied an LLB in Law at Leeds University and a master’s in Human Rights Law LLM at Queen’s Mary before pursuing his mission of fighting food waste.

He is the co-founder of Too Good To Go, the world’s largest marketplace for surplus food. Its marketplace app, Too Good To Go, enables consumers to buy unsold food from restaurants and retailers, so it does not go to waste. 

Too Good To Go is currently active in 17 countries. The market-leading app has over 75 million registered users and 135,000 active food businesses, who have collectively rescued over 200 million meals.

Jamie was named an Obama Leader in 2023, Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year at the GB Entrepreneur Awards 2022, a Trailblazing Activist in Forbes’ the 50 Next class of 2021, One Young World’s Entrepreneur of the Year in August 2020, and one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Europe in February 2019.

Topics of expertise

  • Food systems 
  • Food waste and the environment and/or society
  • Food waste policy and regulations
  • Consumer behaviour and trends
  • Technology disruption
  • Business as a vehicle for change
  • Start-up and entrepreneurship
  • Driving a food waste movement (Too Good To Go’s impact initiatives)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Laura Thomson

Written by

Laura Thomson

Laura Thomson graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with an English and Sociology degree. During her studies, Laura worked as a Proofreader and went on to do this full-time until moving on to work as a Website Editor for a leading analytics and media company. In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading a range of books and writing historical fiction. She also loves to see new places in the world and spends many weekends walking with her Cocker Spaniel Millie.

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