It is estimated that approximately 45% of the food produced in Europe is wasted, mostly fruit and vegetables. It was with this in mind that Alberto Mojtar left his career in investment banking and joined Lukas Friedemann, and together they tried to reverse the statistics by creating The Equal Food Co.
In order to combat food waste and make all food count, this small startup works with products and companies in order to recondition products for new markets. This allows the creation of a more sustainable food chain, without surpluses and “ugly” products.
This project, which has sustainability as its flagship, responded in the best way to the challenge launched in November, at the Web Summit, by Casa do Impacto. It overcame the challenge posed “How can we promote knowledge, actions and responses of communities to climate change?” and came out of the fourth edition of the Santa Casa Challenge as the big winner.
Since their inception, they have managed to avoid about six million tonnes of fruit and vegetables being wasted, largely because of their appearance or accelerated ripening, and hence not taken to conventional shops.
However, Alberto Mojtar, says that the main interest of this startup is to change or help change consumer behaviour and justifies: “We have always considered ourselves on a mission to end the stigma of ugly fruits and vegetables. And if we could change our behaviour as consumers we would have a huge impact on food waste”.
The project went through a turning point due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as its main buyers began to close their doors and, as a result, were forced to sell the products to final consumers. Fortunately, the results of this restructuring were positive and people’s support grew: “We had very good results because consumers made a change and gave us very good feedback,” says Alberto.
Santa Casa Challenge
It is a competition promoted as part of the investment strategy of Casa do Impacto, which rewards innovative technological solutions that give rise to technologically feasible devices, applications, digital content, web or communication services.