Chowberry is helping low-income families in Nigeria have access to food items from supermarkets and preventing food waste too
Global food loss and waste amount to between one-third and one-half of all food produced. Loss and wastage occur at all stages of the food supply chain or value chain. In low-income countries, most loss occurs during production, while in developed countries much food – about 100 kilograms (220 lb) per person per year – is wasted at the consumption stage. (Wikipedia 2019)
Ever wonder what happens to nearly expired packaged foods? The same thought crossed the mind of Oscar Ekponimo, the brain behind a simple app (Chowberry) that allows supermarkets all over Nigeria to sell near expiry food items at a discount to needy families.
Oscar had painful memories, while growing up as a child, of wanting to eat but having nothing to eat. His passion for Chowberry is driven not just out of the need to solve food waste epidemic in Nigeria alone but because of his desire to help needy families in Nigeria get decent food on their tables every single day. A large percentage of Nigerians, especially the low in come earners, live below the global lover line which is $1.90 daily. Oscar saw an opportunity to make impact by using his tech skills to build a cloud-based software that helps reduce food wastes in supermarkets while providing food items for low income earners.
Food waste is a major global problem even in developed countries. The cycle of food wages affects every single effort put into getting that food, from growing, transporting, and processing as well as retailing and preparing for consumption.
When food is disposed in a landfill it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Growing and transporting the food that goes to waste emits as much carbon pollution as 39 million passenger vehicles. (Ben Simon, Co-Founder & CEO at Imperfect Foods)
In Nigeria, according to UN FAO, about 13 Million people suffer hunger and about 8% of the population is under-nourished. For Chowberry, the focus was on reducing packaged food wastes in supermarkets by making near expiry products easily available for people to purchase.
Supermarkets across Nigeria can use the Chowberry app to push out details (such as expiry date and available locations to pickup the items) about any food item that it about to expire. Individuals, non governmental organizations, orphanages and charities who wish to purchase these items (which ordinarily would have ended up in a bin) can get them at affordable rates.