Ilana Delivers and Xénia Ashby at the 2019 CYEL Creative young entrepreneur of the year awards
Photo: Anthony Dehez/archives
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, a third of all food produced ends up either lost or wasted. Two young female entrepreneurs created their own start-up, Food4All (F4A), in Luxembourg, to fight food waste by creating a win-win experience for supermarkets and their customers.
The first idea behind the company emerged during the study years of 26-year-old French-Dutch entrepreneur Ilana Devillers. She explained that living as a student on a budget can make it very difficult to eat varied and healthy meals. Moreover, listening to the news further inspired the idea for her future startup.
“By that time all of the scandals with supermarkets bleaching products that were still consumable, putting locks on their bins, wasting huge quantities of fresh food were the favorite topics of the news,” Devillers told Delano. To make F4A come true, she worked hand-in-hand with her business partner Xénia Ashby (26), who she met over 10 years ago when they both lived in Luxembourg, and chief of technology, Sena Gbeckor-Kove (42).
How does it work?
F4A functions on two levels: with supermarkets, and their customers. For the partner supermarkets (such as Delhaize), food that is nearing its expiry date goes through a quality test. If it passes, it is then labelled ‘F4A’ and placed in a dedicated part of the shop. Those products are sold up to 50% cheaper. This helps the supermarkets reduce their losses, have a positive effect on the environment, and subsequently bring customers that either seek cheaper alternatives or that are concerned about the environment.
Photo shows a UK supermarket which reduces the price of food that is past its sell-by date. Photo: Shutterstock
On the customer level, a free F4A app is now available on the App store and Google Play.
“Thanks to the F4A app, consumers know what to eat on a daily basis, track their consumption behaviour (their positive impact on their wallet and the planet) as well as gaining time and improving their cooking skills!” explained Devillers. The app combines recipe-videos, shopping lists, and the possibility to find the products available at F4A partner retailers, among other functionalities.
The trio is now hoping to further develop F4A, and plans on enlarging their team of 6, to 20 people by the end of 2019. This is, however, not the only way that Food4All hopes to grow. “F4A is limited to Luxembourg for now. But, we are currently preparing our international expansion. We believe that our win-win solution is suitable in all countries in the world, and we will expand our services where F4A is needed,” Devillers said.
Amendment: 10am 16 August, Ilana Devillers name spelling corrected