Raphael Fellmer, the pioneer who lived five years of his life on a money strike and founded the nationwide food saving platform foodsharing.de, has now launched a new comprehensive initiative. Where the food sharing movement provided a link between supermarkets and people, enabling the use of still edible leftovers through a “meet and pick up” system, Sharecy tackles food waste on an even larger scale: With a mobile and web app, Raphael and his team aim to connect all of the different actors in the food saving movement – from restaurants and companies to anti-food waste organizations and small initiatives – and enable them to give and receive food easily through an efficient online sharing system. When Raphael visited the CRCLR House last year for our Pitches session, we talked to him about Sharecy and his seemingly endless energy in the fight for a better world.
I still believe that the biggest challenge is to enable humanity to live in peace. For this challenge – or vision – we have to start with enabling everybody to have enough food, be respectful of everything we’re sharing – nature and the earth. We need to be able to free ourselves from the cultural conditions which we’ve been brought up with and find our own self. The easiest step in our personal life to change the world is to change our diet and reduce all animal products as much as we can. Of course it is also important to eat as much local, organic, seasonal and if possible food that otherwise would be thrown away. With foodsharing.de we enable people to tap into the abundance of perfect surplus food but even if 21,000 volunteers alone saved 6 Mio. kilograms of food in Germany alone we still would have about 50 % food waste. With our new social startup Sharecy we’re focusing on enabling big retailers and distribution centers to not throw their surplus away, instead connecting them with NGOs and business to combat food waste. We will also soon open the first food outlet store “Sir Plus” in Berlin.
Our goal is to create more awareness and to get every player who deals with food on a large scale to come together. Sharecy is giving everyone a chance to get rid of the food which otherwise because of standards and norms and pressures from supermarkets isn’t getting sold. Our core goal is to create links between these actors and make their efforts more visible to the public. We have information services on our website for the companies’ websites, which show how much CO2 and food they’ve saved. We’re also going to create an app for food saving to make it more efficient. At this point foodsharing.de alone has already 3,000 partner businesses where Foodsavers can pick up surplus food, and it works, but it will be much better organized through the app. We want to offer this service, not only in Germany but worldwide, and share the experiences we gathered with foodsaving.de. The topic of food waste is not yet so big in the world, and a long term goal of ours is to create a label that will be known for making this food accessible to people.
For me circularity means to have everything in a flow and that everything is used in the most ecological and sustainable way possible. If somethings can’t be used by one company, a different company, organisation or private people should take over and use it. Circularity means to really look at every step of the value chain, from the farmer to the consumer, and ask: Where can we implement circularity? In the best case scenario, at the end of the process, the food creates compost again and new food can be grown.
First of all, I would just encourage everybody who feels like they really have an idea for social entrepreneurship to do something about it, even if it’s hard sometimes. Whatever you have in mind, just try try try – start thinking about it and then begin to share your vision. Reach out. I believe that when you have a project that will possibly make the world a better place, people will help you. Maybe they know someone you don’t or have some money – and if you have a little money saved, use it for the project. That’s what we should use money for – our dreams. Listen to your heart and go for it. Don’t get pulled down by people who tell you your project is not possible or by the fear of losing your reputation or losing money. It’s crucial that you believe in yourself. Normally, you need several attempts until your project works, but we’re here to learn, explore and grow. So my advice is: Go for it and enjoy it!