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Tesco calls on food waste entrepreneurs to join crowdfunding platform

Tesco has called for small businesses and entrepreneurs to join its new food waste crowdfunding platform, BackIt, to help them promote their business ideas and gain funding to market their food waste-reducing projects.

The platform allows small businesses to promote their idea to the public, who can then fund products that they like, while gaining access from a range of rewards depending on the level of their support. Tesco will also provide advice and mentoring to all entrepreneurs and small businesses on the platform, which they can access free of charge.

The launch of BackIt forms part of Tesco’s strategy to fulfil its commitment to ensure that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste in its UK stores by the end of 2017.

ChicP using platform to widen reach of wonky veg-made range

There are currently five small businesses listed on BackIt, the first being food waste-busting entrepreneur Hannah McCollum, founder of ChicP, her small business which makes hummus out of fruit and vegetables that has been rejected by supermarkets due to their cosmetic standards

Tesco calls on food waste entrepreneurs to join crowdfunding platform
ChicP hummus

McCollum spent seven years working as a part-time private chef and says her experience of working in events and catering companies showed her how much edible food is wasted every day, inspiring her to found ChicP in response to the problem.

ChicP, which supports British farmers by using fruit and vegetables that would otherwise been thrown away, is already stocked in several delicatessens in London, including Sonny’s Kitchen, Krystal’s Fulham, and the Rude Health Café.

McCollum aims to raise £5,000 through BackIt, which will enable her to create a wider marketing campaign to help ChicP expand, increase its sales, and raise awareness of its brand.

Turning ‘food waste busting dreams into tomorrow’s solutions’

Michael Francis, Tesco Business Development Director, said: “Food waste is something that Tesco takes very seriously and is an issue that we have a responsibility to work together to solve. It’s businesses like ChicP that will help us do just that.

“We are now looking for other brilliant food waste businesses to come forward and help us fight food waste. There’s room for many more on the platform and the BackIt team can offer you the help and support you need to bring your product to life.”

McCollum added: “I hate wasting food, and I know I’m not the only one. Creating ChicP has enabled me to combine my desire to reduce food waste with being able to produce delicious, healthy hummus.

“I can’t wait to see where my business goes from here and hope that other people who want to help stop food waste come forward and turn their food waste busting dreams into tomorrow’s solutions!”

Biggest ever Neighbourhood Food Collection

Tesco, which has openly published its food waste figures since 2013, the only UK supermarket to do so until Sainsbury’s this summer, is one of the British corporations taking a lead on food waste, with Chief Executive Dave Lewis also serving as Chair of the Champions 12.3 coalition of business leaders to work towards the UN’s goal of halving per capita food waste by 2030.

This week, the supermarket is encouraging people to generously donate their spare long-life food products as it aims to achieve its biggest ever Neighbourhood Food Collection, which it runs with the foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust, and food redistribution charity, FareShare.

This year’s collection will run from Thursday 1 December until Saturday 3 December. As winter approaches, extra heating costs place extra pressure on family budgets, and The Trussell Trust and FareShare both see an increased need for their support.

The Neighbourhood Food Collection has seen an equivalent of more than 38 million meals donated since its launch in 2012, with Tesco topping up customer donations by 20 per cent.

Matt Davies, UK and Ireland CEO at Tesco, said: “It’s so great to witness the generosity of our customers each time we hold a Neighbourhood Food Collection. That’s especially true at Christmas, when the Trussell Trust and FareShare see an increase in demand for the support they provide people who are struggling to make ends meet.

“Together with the 20 per cent top-up provided by Tesco, we’re hoping this collection will go on to help more people in need than ever before.”

More information about BackIt can be found by visiting the BackIt website.

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