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Eat It Up Fund

Hubbub launches fund with investment for innovators ready to tackle food waste
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Details and texture of used ground coffee

Following the success of its first year, environmental charity Hubbub has announced its Eat It Up Fund is now open for 2024 applications.

Launched in 2023, the fund is aimed at innovators with creative solutions to tackle food waste.
The fund is looking for six projects that will each be awarded with £60,000 to develop their ideas over a 12-month period.

Edible food waste

The latest figures from Wrap show that 25-30% of food produced globally is lost or wasted, contributing to 8-10% of total manmade greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In the UK, 10.7 million tonnes of food are wasted each year by UK households, food service, food manufacturers, retailers and farming.
The Eat It Up Fund is aimed at innovators with creative solutions to tackle edible food waste.

Hubbub is looking for applications that address pre-farmgate waste; prevent food from being wasted at the manufacturing and processing stage; minimise food waste from retailers and reduce or prevent food waste in communities or at home.
Applicants must have projects that have been tested and are ready to scale-up or that are in the earlier stages of planning, with a concept ready to test.

Previous winners

Last year’s winners include Sow The City, which is using spent coffee grounds to cultivate mushrooms, and Chef Tom Hunt’s ‘Forgotten Feast’, which is developing the UK’s first regenerative, zero-waste ice cream using closed-loop principles.

Three months on from receiving their funding, the projects have come a long way.
Manchester-based social enterprise Sow the City has teamed up with Starbucks stores to collect waste coffee grounds to cultivate mushrooms in.

It is now growing and harvesting oyster mushrooms and using these activities to host community workshops. The next step is to distribute mushrooms, using solar-charged electric vans, to Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network.

Chef Hunt has developed recipes using surplus buttermilk, which is regularly wasted. Hunt has developed prototypes with exceptional texture and flavour, while building partnerships for ingredient supply and distribution.

His first ice cream soft launched on 18 May at Brockley Market with his Buttermilk, Vanilla and Honey Ice Cream and Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. Hunt will also be selling a lemon curd made with the leftover egg yolks from the macaron recipe.

‘The Eat It Up Fund has given me the confidence and funding to turn a dream into reality! Three months in, I’ve developed an amazing product, invested in brand design and packaging, partnered with farmers, processors and retailers to help them reduce food waste. One lick at a time! Our ice cream will save edible food waste.’

Co-chef, food writer and sustainability consultant

The fund and how to apply

Applicants for the Eat It Up Fund can now submit an expression of interest. The fund is open to UK-registered organisations including charities, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, schools, universities and colleges, local authorities and micro/small businesses with a clear social purpose.

‘Last year we saw a great appetite for the Eat It Up Fund from some very inspiring projects. This year we’re hungry to go even further to address edible food waste. The Eat It Up Fund is a fantastic opportunity for innovators with new concepts that are ready to test or existing ideas looking to expand, to fast track to the next stage in their development.’

Senior creative partner at Hubbub

The Eat it Up Fund is supported by donations from the Starbucks 5p cup charge, which is applied when a customer chooses to use a single-use cup. Introduced voluntarily in 2018, Starbucks has donated these funds to Hubbub to run campaigns that are good for the planet and for people.
Winners will receive 12 months of funding from Hubbub to develop their ideas. Click here for information about how to apply.

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