A UK startup is using matchmaking technology in an app to help food and drink businesses build sustainable supply chains.
More than 100 businesses have joined the program created by Greener UK in June which says it is using “advanced modelling techniques to make sustainability simple, intuitive, and accessible for small businesses”.
“Building a sustainable business is frankly too complicated,” says Greener co-founder and CEO Dan Yates. “If you run a business then your priorities are, understandably, growing your customer base, covering your costs, paying your team etc. Sustainability is seen as complicated, expensive, and added work that people simply don’t have time for. We are changing that.”
Greener UK is now matching businesses from 15 countries that are seeking or providing sustainable solutions – although for now the majority of them are located in the southwest of the UK. Participating companies come from across the food and beverage supply chain, including farming and agriculture, manufacturing and processing, packaging, retail, hospitality, consultancy and compliance services, and waste management.
Mehrnaz Tajmir, co-founder and chief of science at Greener UK, says the enthusiasm from users has inspired the company to persevere.
Tajmir, who has a background in managing sustainable supply chains, says great strides are being made in the area of sustainable food systems and innovation.
“These past months have been incredibly educational for us in knowing where some of the innovation trends are and also where they are lacking. There is a disconnect between the food industry and other parallel industries which means that a lot of transferable innovation and technology is going unnoticed; potentially game-changing ideas,” she said.
“Our focus now is on continuing to build that user base, to keep listening to our community about what solutions we can help them source, and to tackle our seed fundraising round.”
Greener was founded in 2019 with the vision of placing sustainability at the core of every supply-chain decision in the food-and-drink industry. After raising more than £140,000 (US$192,000) in pre-seed funding, including a contribution from the Innovate UK Sustainable Innovation Fund, the Greener team is in the midst of a new seed-funding round it hopes to close during coming months.
The company has gained recognition from industry groups and entrepreneurship organisations, including the Green Tech Alliance. Co-founders Dan Yates and Mehrnaz Tajmir were shortlisted for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in the sustainability category.
Main image: @antonina.vlasova via Twenty20.