Inspiring Session from CEO of Food Sharing App Olio

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Inspiring Session from CEO of Food Sharing App Olio



We were delighted to be joined by co-founder and CEO of food sharing App Tessa Clarke.

Olio is the free sharing app that connects neighbours and reduces waste. The app was created in 2015 by two friends – Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One – on a mission to create a world in which nothing of value goes to waste, and every single person has enough to eat – without destroying our planet in the process. What started as an idea during a house move has turned into a marketplace saving thousands of items each week. From food nearing expiration or no longer needed to books, homeware and clothing in need of a new home, OLIO is now the #1 free sharing app with nearly 4 million users in 59 countries and partnerships with supermarkets and food chains, including Tesco, Planet Organic and Pret A Manger.

Tessa shared her story with us and also gave us insights into her experiences on innovation and running a sustainable business.

Why is she doing this?

  • If food waste were a country it would be the 3rd biggest emitter of greenhouse gases behind the USA and China

  • We waste an estimated 1.3 tonnes of food every year
  • Globally one third of all of the food we produce gets thrown away which is worth over $1 trillion p.a.
  • Meanwhile 800m people go hungry  – who could be fed on a quarter of the food we waste
  • If we look to the future we have another 2.2 billion joining the planet by 2050, and in order to feed us all we need to increase global food production by 60% and as of yet we don’t know how this will be achieved!
  • In the UK over half of the food waste takes place in the home – with the average family throwing away £700 of food each year, collectively adding up to £14 billion per year.
  • This is in contract to retail stores that generate just 2% of food waste

So households are half the problem but if you turn that on its head as Tessa and Saacha have done then we are half of the solution! 

Olio for businesses with potential food waste:

Whether you’re a caterer, hotel, restaurant, office, retailer or any other food business or provider, OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes programme can be a sustainable solution to your business whereby we arrange to pick up and safely redistribute your surplus food to local communities.

Here’s a link to the Olio partner resources portal

Find out more:

Olio for individuals; families and households, get sharing your food and household items:

Watch the presentation from Tessa and be inspired:

What’s the ambition for Olio?

Watch Tessa’s Ted Talk:

All too often, the climate crisis is illustrated with images of polar bears, of wildfires and of floods, while the headlines talk about government negotiations and net zero targets, which makes it all feel so far removed from us. But there’s something we’re not being told, and it’s that 65% of all greenhouse gas emissions are generated as a direct result of household consumption. So that’s you. And that’s me.