Visiting Fazla Gida in Istanbul

Visiting Fazla Gida in Istanbul

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Fazla Gida in Istanbul; one of the social businesses in the 2017 cohort of The Good Kitchen.  It was a fantastic opportunity to witness their business in action but also to see the different attitude to food waste in this continent-straddling country

Unlike countries in Western Europe where countless startups address the challenge of surplus food, Fazla Gida is Turkey's first and only.  And they really have their work cut out because, according to recent government figures, Turkey is throwing away 53 billion euros of food each year, with 5% of this total through supermarkets and shops.

Fazla Gida's innovative online platform enables supermarkets to list surplus produce and then local food banks can select and collect the food they want. Since launching in Spring 2017, Fazla Gida now distributes food to 14,000 people a week and have helped supermarkets cut their wastage from 2.6% to 0.26%.

During my visit, I traced the process of a food donation through the Fazla Gida platform: from the supermarket shelves to the hands of the hungry at a soup kitchen. At all stages, it was clear that though the technology of the Fazla Gida platform was very helpful, it was the close relationships that their team had built with shop staff, truck drivers, charity workers and chefs that resulted in the necessary behaviour change.  

Through Fazla Gida's vital work, surplus food and food poverty are now firmly on the agenda for the Turkish government. Recently, Olcay Silahli, the co-Founder and CEO of Fazla Gida, was called to Turkish parliament as an expert advisor on addressing food surplus. Further, though already expanding into cities beyond Istanbul, Fazla Gida are on the cusp of building a partnership with one of the largest non-profits in Turkey and this will accelerate this expansion further.

The Good Kitchen is delighted to have supported Fazla Gida in its first year of operation. We have no doubt that they will make huge contributions to building a food system that is good for people and the planet.

Olcay Pitching at The Good Kitchen Investor Day in London

Innovators Under 35 Accolade for Solveiga Pakštaitė

Innovators Under 35 Accolade for Solveiga Pakštaitė

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What started off as research investigating problems faced by the blind and visually impaired while using public transport has now evolved into Mimica Touch. A highly precise food expiry label innovation which has landed Solveiga Pakštaitė, a Good Kitchen investee, on this year's MIT 35 Innovators Under 35 List.

Instead of simply communicating the exact expiry date of food products to the visually impaired, Solviega took the opposite task: she concentrated first on the type of interactions which users would have with the label.

Taking inspiration from bumps and lumps found in nature's very own packaging (think banana skins), she came up with the idea for Mimica Touch.

Find out more about her and her award here 

The Good Kitchen Bootcamp


The Good Kitchen Bootcamp

 This week The Good Kitchen relocated to an abandoned warehouse in Elephant & Castle. Not because we've lost our office space, but to host our first ever TGK Bootcamp - an accelerator week for social entrepreneurs tackling food insecurity. 

Having stood out from over 100 applications and successfully impressed a judging panel of food and innovation experts, the final five startups joined us from across the globe, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the week. 

Something that has been evident all week is that although all unique these equally brilliant startups all have something in common, and that's the determination to transform our food system and change the way we think about food. 

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It's been an action-packed week with sessions and workshops carefully designed to equip the cohort with new skills and creating opportunities to make connections that will help them grow.

Beginning the week, we went back to business basics with Ed Cooper and Simon Derry from Vital Six, who introduced the cohort to the Product-Market Matrix and understanding the correct growth strategy for their own businesses.

Day Two was led by Bonnie Chiu, Managing Director at The Social Investment Centre, who asked our social enterprises to map out their theory of change with the key activities that will enable them to achieve their long-term goals, and reminded us of the importance of social impact measurement. Then we heard from Joe Kallarackal from the International Centre for Social Franchising on knowing when and how to scale your impact. 

Wednesday kicked off with breakfast with Kevin Duffy, Co-Founder of Winnow, who shared his journey to setting up the successful food business that still has its social mission embedded at its core. The rest of the day was led by Lewis Tasker, a HR guru, who played a sneaky trick on the group to show that great leadership is about actively listening and treating each member of your team as an individual. 

Thursday was all about getting investment ready and Vital Six came back to the warehouse to answer the all-important finance questions and offer tips on perfecting the pitch. At lunchtime, we were lucky enough to be joined by Thom Van Every, who has successfully built and then exited from his company Dr Thom. His number one tip for our entrepreneurs: staying physically fit. 

In the afternoon a selection of impact investors and foundations joined us at the bootcamp for a speed dating session, where each startup delivered an impressive pitch and then had the chance to speak to interested investors. Thursday ended with a well-deserved drinks reception with friends of The Good Kitchen as a way of us saying a big thank you to all of our supporters. 

Negotiation tactics was the final topic of the week on Friday morning, led by Bruno Tromeur from KellyDeli, with a reminder that negotiation is not about having more 'points' than the other, but making sure you have the 'points' that you need. 

As the week comes to a close and our startups look at developing an action plan for the next six months, we've certainly been left inspired and are incredibly excited to see where these social entrepreneurs will go. 



Using Larvae to Fuel a More Sustainable Food System

Using Larvae to Fuel a More Sustainable Food System

The Good Kitchen investee, Entocycle, were recently covered by TechCrunch! Entocycle are looking to solve the food chain conundrum with a source of protein. Black soldier flies to be specific. They're using black soldier flies to transform food waste into insect-based protein for the aquaculture and livestock industries. What does this mean? Maximum nutritional value. Minimal environmental impact.

“At the end of the day, we want to keep it simple. We have a box where we put food waste and baby larvae, leave it for one week, let the insects do the hard work and at the end of it we have fertilizer and protein,” says Keiran Whitaker, Founder & CEO of Entocycle

You can read more here

Guest Blog | How Winnow is Growing Whilst Maintaining its Social Impact

The first in our guest blog series is Liv Lemos from Winnow. Winnow's revolutionary technology helps the hospitality industry tackle avoidable food waste. She will be talking about the importance of food technology driving innovation in, strategies for growth, and Winnow's sources of inspiration.

Worldwide a  third of all food is lost or wasted even before it hits our plates, costing us around 3 billion dollars annually. The environmental cost of producing all that food for nothing is staggering. Without accounting for greenhouse gas emissions in landfills, the carbon footprint of food produced but not consumed is estimated to amount to 3.3 Gtonnes of CO2. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitting country in the world after China and the US.

Liv takes us through how Winnow's combination of product and service is reducing food waste whilst improving kitchen operations, and shares lessons on how to organically grow a business.

Fighting food insecurity, food waste, and an unsustainable food system

We had a chat with our friends over at Winnow last week about how funding innovation can help address food insecurity at it's core, and how food startups can harness the power of technology to build a more sustainable food system.

The Good Kitchen's first group of startups are tackling food poverty in different ways but all are harnessing technology to drive their innovations. This growth in tech has the real potential to change our food system and is fuelled by an increase in investments in the space.

You can read the full article here.

Social Enterprise Accelerator Takes Aim at Hunger

Last week, The Good Kitchen was interviewed by the wonderful Caroline Kamm from Food Tank. We talked about how we're supporting social entrepreneurs build a more sustainable, healthier food system, and why we think more investors need to be funding bold, innovative ideas in food. With innovation in food currently in the hands of a small group of agribusinesses, support from The Good Kitchen is giving small, innovative food businesses a seat at the table.

"We need to blow open the food and agriculture sector to demonstrate that it is possible for a business to make money and enable a world where everyone, everywhere can eat a healthy and sustainably sourced diet."

You can read the full article here.

Five Start Ups Win Accelerator Backing to Fight Food Insecurity

The Good Kitchen, launched last year as Europe’s first accelerator program for social startup businesses tackling food insecurity and food poverty issues, has selected its first five enterprises from an initial intake of more than 100 applicants.

The Good Kitchen selected its first five ‘winners’ on the basis that they each offer “highly scalable and sustainable solutions that can reshape our food system and help everyone, everywhere, eat an adequate, healthy and sustainable diet.”

You can read more here in AgFunder's article on The Good Kitchen's first cohort of investees.


Europe's First Accelerator to Tackle Food Poverty

Today, The Good Kitchen launched Europe’s first social enterprise accelerator to support organisations tackling food poverty.  Selected organisations will receive funding to grow their ventures, business training and mentorship from leading food entrepreneurs.