Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Rubies in the Rubble

Tackling food waste one jar of condiment at a time

Food & Drink

A brand uses rejected produce to make a range of delicious condiments

Spotted: Farmers have long turned imperfect or overripe fruit and vegetables into foods like preserves and chutneys – a common-sense way of preserving excess or unsaleable produce. Jenny Costa, who grew up on a farm in Scotland, thought so, and commercialised the idea, rescuing unwanted produce and turning it into something delicious.

Costa’s business, Rubies in the Rubble, started with a stall at London’s Borough Market and then moved to a commercial kitchen at New Spitalfields Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market. The location gave Rubies easy access to some of the 10,000 to 11,000 tonnes of fruit and veg that go to waste in the market every year. Now however, Rubies works directly with farms and pack houses to get access to large volumes of surplus fruits and vegetables that can then be turned into ketchups, mayonnaises, relishes, and more. 

The certified B Corp has products on the shelves of thousands of stores and restaurants across the UK. All of the products are made by hand and the company is working hard to reduce emissions and the use of plastic in its packaging. Rubies also runs education sessions in schools to educate children on the importance of reducing food waste, and organises farm days to harvest leftover produce for charities.

Some of Rubies’ existing customers include Tesco, Waitrose, and Gousto, as well as sites like the O2 Arena and the ExCel Centre. Moving forward, Rubies in the Rubble is working with Chartwells to deliver its produce to 2,600 independent schools, including Eton College.

Around one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. Solving the problem is the goal of a number of innovations spotted by Springwise, including natural coatings that prolong food freshness and alcoholic beverages made from fruit waste.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




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