News #foodtech
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30 April 2020

OLIO launches creative initiatives in light of COVID-19

Maddyness spoke to Tessa Clarke, CEO and co-founder of OLIO, a pioneering company tackling food waste, to hear about what they have implemented to help communities cope with lockdown and how they continue to encourage food sharing in neighbourhoods.

Now more than ever, companies realise how essential it is to move with the behavioural and economical changes occurring amid the pandemic. Some businesses have found the need to pivot or offer their services and solutions for free to support NHS workers in their nationwide efforts while others are choosing to help society with the nationwide challenge to get food.

Each year, a third of the food produced globally is thrown away, with UK households responsible for over half of all food waste. On average, a UK family throws away £700 worth of food each year, which adds up to £12.5B yearly.

Days before the UK lockdown was officially announced, panic pushed shoppers to empty supermarkets and collect much more food than needed. Food sharing app OLIO focuses on food waste reduction and decided to implement different solidarity actions during the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s widely believed that Charles Darwin said that it wasn’t the strongest or most intelligent that survived, but those most able to adapt. And never has this been truer than in a crisis. From the macro level —  where countries that responded fastest have seen the lowest death tolls — to the micro level where businesses such as OLIO have sprung into action, we’ve seen that speed of response has been key.” – Tessa Clarke, CEO and co-founder of OLIO

First, OLIO decided to rescue people’s food in the face of pending closures. The process is simple: the food tech company encourages its users to be in touch for any urgent surplus food collection to be picked up by Food Waste Heroes. The volunteers collect the surplus food and redistribute it to their local community and particularly to the most vulnerable via the app.

In order to support greatly key health heroes during these uncertain times, OLIO created the #Cook4Carers campaign to encourage talented chefs and local residents to show their support by cooking a ready meal for carers during their hard work.

Similarly, in an effort to help self-isolating kids who’ll lose millions of school meals amid lockdown, OLIO decided to implement the #Cook4Kids campaign, which aims to invite chefs and communities to cook ready lunches for children staying at home near them.