Food waste is huge, especially in towns and households (Individuals’ food waste is equal to 53% of the 90 million wasted tons in the EU for a total value of 100 billion euros). Food poverty touches 43 million Europeans (8,5%), mainly in cities.
Faced with these figures HopHopFood, a non profit association, will launch at the end of 2017 a platform and an application fighting food waste amongst individuals, putting into contact those who have too much food with those who don't have enough food. HopHopFood was presented as successful and innovative startup at European level during the second European Day of social economy enterprises organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels.
The project was presented by the founder Jean-Claude Mizzi, who explained how “through the platform we want to create some solidarity spaces between people who don’t have food and people who have food and want to share it”. These permanent solidarity spaces connect, via food, fragile segments of the population with their neighbourhoods.
“In France a study reveals that many are waiting for an electronic platform to exchange food”, continues Jean-Claude Mizzi. “Many people want to be generous and don’t know how to donate food. They see people on the other side of their street or even in their own building in situation of food insecurity and they don’t know how to exchange”.The recipients of the exchanged food are students, migrants, refugees, single women with or without children who are in a situation of food insecurity.
Jean-Claude Mizzi explains: “The platform will be launched on the 6th of October, world food day. Then some areas where the platform will be tested will be established. In Paris the platform will be launched in two “test areas” that are characterized by a very interesting social diversity, that are the 11th and the 18th arrondissement. Outside Paris another test area is the municipality of Sceaux, a very rich town, with lots of social innovation, and that counts 10.000 students, 30% of whom are in food insecurity”.
The idea of HopHopFood is to start thanks to the platform and the solidarity areas, to then build a network of food solidarity areas all over France and finally to learn through testing on the ground the best ways to put the project into practice.
This project is innovative because the fight against food waste targets only leftovers in supermarkets and catering/restaurants but nothing is done with consumers in mind. Many startups have been created with a B2B or B2C model, but there is no C2C platform for free, like HopHopFood.