“The world is currently in the midst of a food waste crisis,” says Rubies in the Rubble founder Jenny Costa.
Speaking to Michael Hayman on Sunday’s Capital Conversation, she explains that approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – a third of the food produced globally – is wasted annually and that by reducing this by just a quarter, would provide enough food to feed everybody on the planet.
This prompted Jenny, who was brought up on a small farm, to turn her back on her corporate career to establish Rubies in the Rubble in 2012, a sustainable food brand that specialises in ‘condiments with a conscience’.
Her award-winning recycled relishes, ketchups and mayonnaises are made from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and has so far saved almost seven million fruits and vegetables, and counting!
Not afraid of a challenge, Jenny has taken on a business model that she says was most closely associated with ‘hippies’ and ‘bin diving’. But she never saw the move as a risk: “I think women especially have fear of failure that holds people back. But you’re not really risking everything if you put your all into [your business], because you learn so much.”
She has turned Rubies into a household name, which is partnered with the likes of Whole Foods, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Harrods.
But the mission of the company goes far beyond brand recognition. She is not only saving food from waste, but encouraging the brands she works with to change their approach to suppliers and consumers, and to cut down their carbon footprint.
“We want to creates behavioural and practical change,” she says, adding, “We all need to start valuing food again and see it as something precious rather than a cheap commodity.”
You can watch the fully episode here.