Each year we can save 1/3 of the world's food that is lost. This represents 1.6 billion tonnes of food worth $1.2 trillion, i.e. 8% of greenhouse gas emissions
Confronting the food waste problem is important both for fighting world hunger and climate change. Everything is linked
Sourcing local food without packaging and buying only what we need for the next 3-4 days allow us to have a positive impact on food waste. There are also mobile apps which gives us the opportunity to buy the unsold items of the day. Phenix, Too Good to Go, Karma are some of them
A very large part of this waste is related to farmers and retailers, such as supermarkets. In France, the law against food waste was passed in 2016 and made reprehensible the voluntary destruction of food and the absence of a donation agreement between food retailers and associations
Clotilde and Alexis have been tackling this issue for some years
Please see below our discussion
Together we are redefining a safe & sustainable world for Humans and Nature
Could you explain us your motives behind your commitment?
Clotilde & Alexis: Our commitment against food waste comes from the unbearable observation that 30 to 50% of the food produced in the world is thrown away. For us who were convinced that the best way to limit our impact on the environment was to select the products used daily, it was a shock. What importance is it to make the right choice if almost one product out of two is extracted, transformed, distributed, transported several times and ultimately ends up being transported as waste and then destroyed?
The same observation also applies to non-food products (textiles, cosmetics, etc.) and packaging: the trash was for us a nonsense to avoid at all costs
How did you become committed?
Clotilde & Alexis: First professionally by founding the company SO Phenix in the South West of France in Toulouse. Quite an impactful choice given that we have known each other for just a year and that we gave up everything to do what everyone advised us not to do: create a company to fight against food waste, as a couple, in a city in which we don’t had never set foot. In the end despite many difficult times related to the discovery of the entrepreneurship, we are still working at Phenix (which acquired SO Phenix). The company has come a long way and employs today more than 150 people in France!
We also got involved meanwhile on a personal level: zero waste (food shopping in bulk, raw products), home-made products for household, home compost, registration for an AMAP, stop shopping new clothes, etc
How do you assess these years of commitment?
Clotilde & Alexis: We are very positive about! First professionally with the millions of meals saved from the trash by Phenix. Then on a personal level with taking all these good habits, and disseminating them to our families and friends
With a baby expected for the end of June, other challenges will arrive (a zero waste baby?). We are more and more motivated to improve on managing waste!