Fight Food Waste Together
Q&A with Malin Sandsjo, Marketing Manager of Karma App
Where did the name Karma come from?
We believe that positive intent and action contribute to good karma and future happiness. Our app makes fighting food waste actionable and easy to integrate into your day-to-day. Rescuing food is rewarding in the short term but it is a good deed that benefits both our society and planet in the long term. The word Karma is about connection, and recognizing that we are all part of the same karmic loop with equal opportunity to make a change!
Can you tell me about the background to the start-up of the Karma App in Sweden?
The founders behind the start-up are four Swedish entrepreneurs; Hjalmar, Mattis, Elsa and Ludvig, who are convinced that with an innovative technical solution like Karma, they can have a significant impact in solving the major social and environmental effects of food waste. In Sweden, we are currently working with over 1,000 businesses and 280,000 users to help close the loop on food waste and to reduce the tonnes of food being wasted every year.
Why did you decide to launch in London?
We launched in London earlier this year and are already making waves in the food scene to help move the UK capital towards a more sustainable future. London, however, is the benchmark—if Karma is successful here then it can be successful anywhere. The city has one of the best food scenes in the word, a high number of restaurants and retailers who care about sustainability, and a population that is both environmentally conscious and digitally confident to use an app such as Karma. In addition, Londoners are always apt to try something new!
You have some big names signed up and it seems like a real win-win for customers and restaurants. What has been the general feedback from restaurants?
We consistently hear feedback from the businesses using our app that Karma allows them to better monitor their ordering and supply to improve efficiencies building a longer term sustainability plan. For the 200+ food businesses using Karma in the UK, the app plays an important role in highlighting for them where they can do better as part of a more environmentally responsible industry.
Do you have any plans to unite restaurants with homeless shelters within London?
We are big supporters of restaurant and grocery stores who donate their surplus to charity, and we encourage our partners to do both when they can. However, there are some logistical challenges in donating food to local charities or shelters which costs both time and resources that many retailers unfortunately don’t have, which can result in the food being thrown away instead. It is a company goal to bridge this gap between restaurants and shelters, and there are already conversations underway to push this forward.