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Research says we waste £13bn worth of food each year in the UK, with 71% of that waste coming from household waste. While this seems like a big figure, Foodbanks are a common sight in most places.  

And then we found Olio!

Olio pitches itself as part of The Food Revolution. Their ambitions are big and intentions honourable. Olio connects neighbours with each other and with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared, not thrown away.

Olio was launched in 2015 by Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One. Tessa was previously managing director at Wonga, the controversial payday loans firm which the Archbishop Justin Welby promised to take on. She grew up on a farm in North Yorkshire, and says she got the idea after being left with a few sweet potatoes and a cabbage on the day she was moving back to the UK from Switzerland. It was not feasible to take them with her but knowing how much work had gone into growing fresh produce she couldn’t bring herself to throw them away. Like so many tech entrepreneurs, she thought there should be an app for that.

It was clear; however, she wasn’t the only one who identified this problem. Each year, the UK wastes about £13bn worth of food and the amount of food given out by Trussell Trust food banks has increased 318% in the past five years.

The initial trial for the Olio app took place among 12 people in Crouch End; the first item to be shared was half a bag of shallots. But quickly it grew and many of the people on Olio today are using it as an alternative or supplementary food bank.

Tessa Cook says “We are doing 0.0001% of our full potential. We’re on 400,000 users today, we want to have at least 400 million users. That’s the goal.”

So, at the time of writing this article I have been using the app for 2 weeks. The first week I hoped to cut my food waste by half. On week 2, I am coming close to my target of zero. In just 2 weeks, this app has changed my life!

We invite everyone who follows The Good Shopping Guide to sign up today!

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