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Aisha Raheem (Farmz2U)

Aisha Raheem won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in April 2016 for her business, Farmz2U.
It’s no secret that food waste is a major issue in the UK: research shows that 400 million meals of edible food are wasted every year. Out of 270,000 metric tonnes of food that could have been consumed, just 18 percent went to charities and food banks last year.1

To help both food providers and consumers tackle this issue, UK start-up Farmz2U developed a software solution that enables food retailers to harness customer information – such as age, BMI levels and food allergies – to help consumers manage their nutrition and reduce food waste. 

First, shoppers are provided with a tailored grocery list of suggested foods to meet their nutritional needs. Quantities of food are suggested based on the individual’s health and fitness level, helping them to make healthy choices and stopping them from over-purchasing food which could go to waste.

The second stage occurs after the food has been purchased. Using barcode information from the food purchased, Farmz2U software alerts users when their food is about to expire. They are then provided with ‘recipe ideas’ which will suggest meals that can be created from the user’s available foods, or they can select a ‘feed another’ option where food can be donated to relevant organisations. 

Co-founder Aisha Raheem explains: “Based on research we conducted last year, we found there are three primary reasons consumers waste food: they are either buying too much, are unsure when their foods will expire, or they don’t know what to cook. Our solution is tailored to these three factors. We also saw a real need in providing a solution that put the power in the hands of the consumer while also improving their own nutrition. That’s an added bonus for a healthier future!”

Farmz2U proved its software’s ability to reduce waste last year over an eight month trial. To demonstrate the product, the company launched an online store which provided food delivery from independent farmers to more than 550 users. The test yielded impressive results: providing recipes reduced user waste by 10% on average, which increased to 25% on average with return users. Prompts to donate food that was about to expire reduced waste by 21% per user.

Farmz2U was the April winner of the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award. Aside from the funding provided by the programme, Aisha said the win was particularly exciting because it validated their belief that the Farmz2U solution will help address global carbon challenges.

According to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, up to 14% of agricultural emissions could be avoided by better food management.2 Aisha’s goal for Farmz2U is to reduce this number by capturing at least 35% of consumer food waste in the UK in the next five years.
 
You can follow Farmz2U on Twitter or on Facebook.

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