Waste not, want not

16002939_10154049267371010_8218680330025754252_nToast Ale. A social enterprise that takes the crusts from daily baked bread and uses it to brew a good tasting beer. 100% of the profits support a charity working to advocate to reduce food waste and improve the environment, called Feedback

Feedback is an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste at every level of the food system. They catalyse action on eliminating food waste globally, working with governments, international institutions, businesses, other organisations and the public to change personal and social attitudes toward wasting food.

Apparently 44% of all bread produced ends up being wasted in the UK. Toast Ale uses fresh surplus bread to brew beer. This is bread that would otherwise be thrown away such as artisan breads that are unsold by bakeries at the end of the day or the crust ends of loaves that are automatically discarded by sandwich manufacturers.

It seems like the perfect match – one of the nation’s most wasted products (bread) used to make one of the nation’s most popular drinks (beer) – made by a business that aspires to positively impact the environment rather than amassing its own wealth.

Rob Wilson, the chief “toaster” of the company, spoke at #StartUp17 today in London. The event drew more than 2,000 entrepreneurs in London, Bristol and Birmingham who are at various stages of starting up or growing their own businesses. I was in the audience listening and finding connections with the work of Watipa. It was refreshing to hear Rob speak about Toast, shared value and social enterprise with a broad audience of up and coming new business in Britain.

Sometimes a social enterprise can seem like a shoe that maybe doesn’t quite fit. In the business world, an enterprise motivated by a social goal rather than simply a profit making motive can seem uncomfortable; likewise in the charity sector, a community interest company that adopts an enterprising business model can seem out of place.

Watipa has a lot to learn from other established and inspiring social enterprises like Toast. And, it seems that we can have some fun and a good cold drink to help us in that journey…. so let’s all toast to not wasting what we no longer want and finding a good use for it.

Lucy Stackpool-Moore


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