“Globally we throw away a third of all the food we produce, worth over a trillion US dollars, meanwhile 800 million people go to bed hungry each night.” On Capital Conversation last Sunday, Tessa Clarke powerfully frames the issue of food waste, and explains her role in tackling it with Olio.
Olio is an app that allows neighbours to upload food items that would otherwise go to waste. Users can then request items and arrange pick-ups via a private messaging service. This not only reduces food waste, but also helps to connect people with one another.
“Our goal, given that we are in the midst of a climate crisis, is to get to more than one billion people using Olio within the next 10 years,” Tessa explains on the urgency behind Olio’s purpose.
Clearly the same sense of determination to take on food waste is felt more widely, with Olio receiving venture capital funding to aid its expansion around the world. For an app founded by two women – Tessa and her business partner Saasha Celestial-One – this is rare, with just 1% of all venture capital going to female-founded:
“It’s incredibly disheartening,” Tessa says, arguing change must come from the top. “Equality needs to come at a cheque-writing level of the gate holders of capital.”
Despite this challenge, Tessa believes change is coming, and with Olio she is part of driving this – at least according to the UN, who awarded Olio with its climate action award in 2018, and The Duchess of Sussex, who selected Tessa as one of her ‘Forces For Change’ in her guest editorial of Vogue.
You can find out more and watch the fully episode here.