Humans og Impact Hub Bergen is a series of interviews with some of our members. We ask them questions about their projects, what motivates them, their challenges, how Impact Hub Bergen helps their endeavours and their plans for the future.
This week we talked to Acacia from a member company Too Good To Go.
Interviewed and written by Sara Kapek
What is your background?
I am from London. I worked in a finance company for two years. Afterwards I switched to the restaurant business and worked as a restaurant manager. Simultaneously I was active in the charity sector. I worked for organizations working against domestic violence. I moved to Bergen and heard about Too Good To Go. At that time they were only in Oslo so I contacted Sofie who is the owner of TGTG Norway and asked if they needed someone to establish the app in Bergen. So I became a local coordinator for Western Norway.
How did you find out about the Impact Hub?
Agents (the other girl volounteering for TGTG in Bergen) referred me to Una (events and community manager), previously I only worked from home. So this was a good opportunity for me to network with other start-ups and sustainable business.
What is the idea behind TGTG? What is the main aim?
The main aim is to limit food waste. It is an app that helps restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries and basically all types of companies that sell food to reduce the waste of food. The products that they cannot sell anymore because they are not fresh and would have to be thrown the next day can be sold via the app. In that way the companies have less waste and they pay less for their waste, they still earn a little bit on the products and become more sustainable. On the other hand, the customers get good quality products for a cheap price. It’s a win win situation. Both sides save money and the CO2 emission for the planet.
You can also donate meals through the app to Matsentralen (an organization that gives food to the poorest/homeless in Norway).
What is the greatest challenge with starting TGTG in Norway?
I think it is difficult to get meetings with the people in charge. They think we want to sell them a product, while we actually want to give them a solution. They think it will be a difficult thing operationally. But basically it is just putting the products in bags and giving it to customers instead of throwing it away. That’s more or less the same amount of work to be done. Still they see it as a big challenge. Especially if they are bigger chains, it seems to be a big change for them in terms of managing it in all the shops.
How does working at the Impact Hub help TGTG?
Well, this morning is a good example. We co-hosted a breakfast workshop about sustainability and food waste together with the Impact Hub.
When it comes to daily work it is a really good opportunity for networking. It is also a good place for us to talk about what we do, to meet like-minded people and to meet people who know people. For example Helene (Frihammer from The Norwegian Climate Foundation) gave me the number to a man who owns a hotel here in Bergen and he is going to start with the app very soon.
What do you (personally) like most about the Hub?
The people. Also the building itself is super cozy and centrally located (which is very important to me).
Tell us about your latest project.
For now my I would like to work closer with Matsentralen in Bergen, as in Oslo we already cooperate with them. I also want to expand to use of the app to other big cities in Norway like Stavanger and Kristiansand.
Where do you see TGTG Norway in 2020?
I hope we have grown in terms of having more restaurants on board. My wish is to make it normal for restaurants to use TGTG, to make it a sort of standard for them to use the app.