UGLIE is on a mission to reduce food waste and alleviate poverty by saving and converting safe but unwanted edible fruit and vegetables into baby food for a better future.
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Food loss and waste is a hot global issue which is co-related to poverty and hunger. It is something that need collective approach and we want to be the vehicle between you and that approach. UGLIE was setup as an initiative in 2015 and was shelved some time in 2016 due to lack of funding, before being resurrected again this year, as more figures became available and the market has become more mature for the end product that we are proposing below. Unlike any business motivated by greed, most of our yearly profit after tax will go for medical research and/or charity dealing with cancer, heart disease, child health, poverty and homelessness. We want UGLIE to be remembered as a brand with humanity.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), approximately one third of the global food production for human consumption, roughly 1.3 billion tonnes, gets lost or wasted every year, and this amounts to a whopping near 1 trillion USD (US$1,000,000,000,000).
Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food. That include those that are rejected by the multiples due to size and shape. In developing countries 40% of losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels while in industrialized countries more than 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels. At retail level, large quantities of food are wasted due to quality standards that over-emphasize appearance.
Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change. The food currently wasted in Europe and Africa, combined, could feed 500 million people. That's a lot of mouths. If just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world. In developing countries, food losses during harvest and in storage translate into lost income for small farmers and into higher prices for poor consumers.
To reduce food waste and loss, we propose to import the unwanted fruit and vegetables from Africa to the Mauritius Freeport zone where the fruit & veg, which would have otherwise ended up in a landfill somewhere, will then be converted into clean & healthy baby food in a BRC-certified manufacturing plant. Recipes for a number of products have been finalised already. I have chosen Mauritius because it has multiple double tax treaty arrangements and other trade agreements in place between the EU, USA, Africa (SADC, COMESA and AGOA among others) and other emerging economies.
In turn, this project will create jobs and alleviate poverty and hunger in Africa and other countries where we will source the unwanted fruit & veg. Farmers will receive more in terms of finance when we buy from them. hence an upgrade in their lifestyle and that of their workers. Jobs will also be created in Ireland, where our head office will be based, and operating in the Mauritian Freeport zone means zero corporation tax there, but instead, it will be paid into the economy where the head office is based.
The global baby food market is booming. According to Statista, the worldwide baby food market value was $53 billion, and is expected to grow to $76 billion by 2021. Without a sizeable market for a product, we wouldn't be able to address the current issue. With that kind of size and armed with a great selling point, there is enough space for a new entrant like us to manoeuvre and compete sustainably.
A research carried out by Allied Market Research (AMR) found that growing urbanization and changing lifestyles have increased the demand for packaged baby foods in different societies and cultures. These foods are fed to babies between the ages of four to six months and two years. Growing awareness for nutrition, rise in organized retail marketing, urbanization paired with a significant increase in the count of working women population are key factors that boost the baby food industry growth.
Again, according to AMR, Asia-Pacific is leading the market in terms of adoption of new and innovative baby food products launched by various companies, followed by the European region. Asia Pacific occupies more than half of the overall world baby food market share.
From personal experience in the production of clean spice ingredients which have won over 14 awards to date, we will be producing baby food, canned in jars and which will be clean, vegan friendly, gluten free and free from nasties like MSG, salt, sugar, or other additives/preservatives and packed with the essential natural nutrients that will allow for a healthy growth. The canning method itself is enough to extend the shelf life of the food and artificial or chemical preservatives will be a no-go area in our production method. A happy baby with a happy tummy ensures the survival of a healthy next generation.
Submitting our pitch to Voom is an enormous opportunity to gain exposure and spread the word far and wide. We hope that our project will finally be realised.
Thank you for your kind support.
Video footage courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
My name is Shakeel, married and father to Sofia (6) and Adam (3). I am the founder of Dublin's multi award winning spice company, Spice Devils. The UGLIE project came to my mind back in 2014 as I wanted to create a company that would be doing good for humanity. Food waste has been a big problem since ages, and as I have a love for food since childhood, I've decided to tackle the food wastage in my own way.