13th March 2017
Oddbox has launched London’s first wonky veg box scheme, in order to fight food waste. The social enterprise scheme delivers a weekly box directly to South London’s homes and Central London’s businesses.
Oddbox are able to buy the produce at a fair discounted price and pass on the discount to their customers.
The estimated annual food waste in the UK is around 10m tonnes wprth about £17b (source: wrap.org.uk).
Oddbox co-founder Emilie Vanpoperinghe, 36 explains “Odd produce is just as nutritious and delicious as standard fresh produce. They do not see supermarket shelves because of restrictions placed by supermarkets like size, shape or colour.”
Oddbox visits local farms and markets to source seasonal produce that will not be stocked in supermarkets. As part of their picking and packing process, it runs rigorous quality checks and packs them into fruit and veg boxes before delivering them to directly to homes in South London. It has also started delivering wonky fruit boxes to health centres, workspaces and offices in Central London. It donates 10% of its surplus produce to surplus food charities.
Oddbox thinks that all fruits and vegetables should be eaten, and just like people, fruit and vegetables come in different shapes, sizes and colours. It wants to encourage its customers to eat a variety of seasonal produce, whilst creating awareness around food waste. It offers a choice of 6 different box types and plans to offer recipes and keep food fresher for longer tips to help customers waste less in their homes.
Oddbox founders, husband and wife team, Deepak Ravindran and Emilie Vanpoperinghe, were inspired by a campaign that Intermarchè, a major French supermarket, launched in 2014 to promote wonky produce in a fun and smart way. This was followed by a trip to Portugal’s street markets, which enlightened them to some serious ugly tomatoes that tasted insanely good – a real eye opener and the catalyst for things to come.
Back in the UK it didn’t take an awful lot of research to discover that very minimal steps had been taken to reduce food waste and bring this delicious misshapen produce to the consumers.