Meet the up and coming Australian based social enterprises that are challenging the norm. During this series, we'll interview the finalists that made it to this year's Early Ethical Entrepreneur Pitch Competition and we'll find out what drives them, what their big vision is and how they are tackling social or environmental challenges. You will learn their stories of resilience, their discovery of purpose, and their visions for the future.
Winner of the Red Hat Impact Early Ethical Entrepreneur Pitch Competition
Interview with Jeffrey Lu Founder
I hope that EcoFoodly will grow from an idea to something that makes a positive and sustainable change to the world.
Q. Describe your journey so far as an ethical enterprise – what is your purpose, and why you embarked on this journey? EcoFoodly started because I realized food waste as one of the most ‘stupid’ problems contributing to climate change. Food waste in supermarkets is a huge contributor to greenhouse emissions and climate change, all the while there are thousands of Australians out there who are food insecure. I started EcoFoodly to help create a vision of a sustainable future and to help Australians get access to cheaper and healthier food.
Q. How did you select a business model to achieve your vision, and what model works best for your enterprise? Ecofoodly is a social enterprise that aims to solve a costly problem in supermarkets, food waste. By reducing food waste we can help supermarkets reduce the cost of lost stock and increase their sales. As a social enterprise, EcoFoodly hopes to use these savings to help support charities and organizations that are fighting food insecurity and starvation.
Q. While everyone talks about innovation and novelty, describe how you came up with your idea and what it means to you to see it grow? I came up with the ideas when I was a student and working at Coles as a part time job. I saw first hand working in Coles how much good food was being thrown away just because it was past its ‘best before’ date or just because it looked less appealing than other stock. And as a student, I remember going around the supermarket looking for discounted products, perfectly good food but just approaching their ‘best before date’, just to save a bit of money. I realised one day that so much less food would go to waste if there was an app that allowed people to browse and purchase discounted food near them. I hope that EcoFoodly will grow from an idea to something that makes a positive and sustainable change to the world.
Q. What is the best part of being an ethical enterprise on a mission? Having a mission such as ours to reduce food waste and fight food insecurity means that we really hope to make the world a better place by doing what we do. It gives us a lot of hope and belief when times get hard or we get a bad rejection, to get up and try again because we hope what we do will help a lot of people and make the world a more sustainable and better place.
Q. How do you extend your impact across to reach and engage with your stakeholders outside your direct clientele and partners? One of our goals at EcoFoodly is to raise awareness of the negative effects of food waste and how bad it is not only economically but also environmentally. We hope through our social media we can show how easily it can be to make a difference and to inspire more people to create a more sustainable world.
Q. Where do you see your enterprise 10 years from now, and what is your big vision? We hope to be in every supermarket and grocers around the world in 10 years. We hope that we can help change social norms, where people might decide to choose and use food based on their usability and not on their appearance. WE hope that Ecility and not on their appearance. We hope that EcoFoodly can help eliminate food waste and food insecurity in the world, as what we see as one of the most ‘stupid’ problems.
Q. What message would you like to share with any other aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in building their own vision? From my experience with EcoFoodly, I would share with other aspiring entrepreneurs to have a clear mission and reason for what they are doing. By understanding your motivations and the reasons why you want to accomplish something will help you when things don’t go your way and you need motivation to carry on.