40% of the food we produce is thrown away. Faced with this alarming fact, Lucie Basch decided, 7 years ago, to create Ton Good To Go. Behind the waste, there is also the value we give to what we eat, and to those who produced it, leading to a reflection that no longer impacts only the final consumer but the entire value chain.
Who are you?
I'm Lucie Basch, co-founder of Too Good to Go, and I'm also interested in the agricultural sector, to build a more just and sustainable food system.
Why did you create Too Good To Go?
The idea behind Too Good to Go was to allow everyone to reduce food waste on a daily basis. Today we throw away 40% of what we produce on the planet: I wanted to allow everyone to reduce food waste on their own scale and to create a real movement against food waste where everyone becomes aware of the problem and of the solutions to be implemented to act.
You created Too Good to Go 7 years ago: what do you think are the major changes or the dynamics observed?
Before, it was not common to build an impact company and especially to use its economic model to maximize this impact. Today there are more and more companies in the sector, awareness has evolved on food waste because France was quite a pioneer in this field. For me, food waste is a symptom and not a cause. We need to go up the value chain and create a fairer and more sustainable food system. I am talking about quality and not quantity: the problem is not that we produce too much but rather that our food system is sick. Waste is one of the results of all the inconsistencies accumulated along the chain, which make the consumer unaware of its value and therefore not ready to pay a fair price so that farmers are better paid. The idea is to reconcile the agricultural sector with consumers in order to build a better system.
What is the biggest challenge for Too Good to Go and food waste in the coming years?
The first challenge, beyond our activities with companies, the general public and schools, is to remain relevant on a subject that is evolving as players in the value chain take it up. This is a good thing, but it forces us to think about how we can bring real added value to the subject.
And the second challenge is to go up the food chain, that is to say, not only to help shops and mass distribution but also industries, farmers, and to propose new solutions to fight against food waste in order to reach zero waste. For that there is a big stake of sensitization of the general public, hence the creation of "Mon école anti gaspi", an educational kit for primary school classes which allows teachers to talk about anti waste in the classes and in the canteen. There is also all the work we have done on consumption dates to enable the French to distinguish between a "use by" date and a "best before" date: the first is a hygiene factor, the product is no longer edible after the date indicated; the second is a quality factor, the product will always be consumable without danger to health. We also work with politicians to make sure that the law evolves in the right direction, to avoid waste as much as possible.
Would you have a message for young people who want to enter the agricultural sector?
It is a great vocation, it is a job that can make you very happy if you take care of yourself! It is a real challenge today and there are models to rethink to allow the profession of farmer to be a fairly paid profession that produces to take care of people and the planet.