Surplus food pioneer, OLIO, is helping businesses across the UK share more than 70,000 meals per month, rescuing unsold food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
With the cost of food being wasted through the UK’s hospitality and food service sector alone estimated at £2.9 billion per year (1), OLIO’s innovative Food Waste Heroes programme has become an invaluable service, not only helping to reduce business food waste but also saving money in associated costs.
The simple and speedy OLIO programme puts businesses in touch with some of its 4,500+ trained volunteers to collect and redistribute any unsold food items within the local community, with existing clients including Pret A Manger, Selfridges and Eurostar to name just a few.
It’s not only the food retail and catering industries who are gaining from the service, OLIO also helps a broad range of other businesses too. These include offices that have surplus food following meetings or in corporate canteens, hotels with unserved food left after events, and photographers and food stylists who have perfectly good food to donate after their shoots.
Founded in 2015 by Stanford Business School alumni, Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, OLIO has quickly grown from a local initiative in North London to a global food sharing movement, spanning more than 45 countries, thanks in large part to its unique model of over 40,000 brand ambassadors who spread the word about OLIO in their local communities.
Tessa Clarke, co-founder of OLIO says: “Many of us are actively reducing food waste at home and we expect our workplaces to be doing their bit too. OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes Programme makes it easy for businesses to do that – cutting their food waste, helping their community and saving money all at the same time.”
The OLIO service is open to any and all organisations looking to redistribute unsold or unserved to their community, including:
- Hotel staff dealing with surplus food at the end of the day, or during the day after a meal service or catered event
- Caterers and event organisers who have surplus food at the end of an event
- Food Stylists, Photographers, Studio Managers and Production Companies that often have surplus food at the end of a shoot
- Supermarkets, bakeries, delis, restaurants, pubs, corporate canteens, market stalls, farms, pack houses, manufacturers, schools or any other food business or provider that has any unsold or unserved food at the end of the day
- Office managers who often have to deal with uneaten fruit, milk and/or sandwiches at the end of the day or week
1) According to a 2015 report by WRAP: http://www.wrap.org.uk/food-drink/business-food-waste/hospitality-food-service