While Sifted has already created a niche in the corporate catering world, the startup has also set itself apart through its charitable and environmentally friendly missions. The company has paired up with Copia, the world’s first company to reduce food waste and hunger at scale, to become the first catering company in the US to donate 100 percent of its leftovers.
“It’s been exciting to watch this dream become a reality,” said Sifted co-founder Jess Legge in a press release. “We do everything possible to operate Sifted in a way that honours the environment, cares for our neighbours and creates as little waste as possible. That’s been a driving principle since day one, and we’re inspiring others to do the same.”
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, over 30 percent of the world’s food goes to waste every year—about 1.3 billion tonnes. Fruits and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of all food, in part due to the “ugly/wonky” produce phenomenon that deems less than ideal-looking food unfit to be sold to the public.
In light of the world’s food waste problems, food reduction and recovery entreprise Copia, which was founded as Feeding Forward in 2011, calls hunger “the world’s dumbest problem.”
According to Mike Goldblatt, the company’s COO, Copia has created an end-to-end waste reduction and recovery technology to connect businesses with surplus food to non-profits that need donations. The startup also offers businesses real-time sustainability and environmental metrics, itemised surplus analytics to help reduce waste and automated tax receipts and reporting.
“Copia’s belief is that food is a fundamental human right. However, businesses throw away millions of pounds of food,” Mike told Foodtank.
“Extreme food waste in the presence of extreme hunger is one of the most disturbing, yet solvable, paradoxes of our time. […] Within all of this inefficiency, Copia has tapped into an exciting opportunity and is providing more than 10,000 meals per week to those in need while saving businesses thousands of dollars through reduced waste and enhanced tax deductions.”
Since partnering with Copia, Sifted has donated almost 43,000 meals and is on track to donate 100,000 by the end of the year. In Austin, Texas, one of the seven cities served by the startup, Sifted has donated 16,000 meals and saved 84,000 pounds of CO2 emissions and over 7 million gallons of water.
“At our core, we’re in the same business of feeding people, and we both agree that quality food is a powerful tool to build community,” said Hayley Seed, Copia head of sales. “Regardless of whom we are feeding — people in need or gainfully employed — together we can reach them all.”