If you’re the type that obsess over the restaurant’s strategy with their leftovers when you’re supposed to be enjoying your dinner, you would be relieved to know that an application designed just for that is scheduled to launch next March!
Founded by the Egyptian entrepreneur Menna Shahin, Tekeya application is meant to organize the excess food, food deals, and food offers by connecting food providers to consumers.
“Seeing the amount of food we are wasting in Egypt, we believe that tackling the problem of food loss and food waste is a combination of doing well as a company and doing good for society,” says Menna.
For food providers, Tekeya will create a platform to upload their excess food with its details, sell it at a reduced price and hence target a new category of customers. It will also give them the chance to donate to charity organizations at no cost. It’s a win-win since customers from different social classes can enjoy a meal with a reduced price, and still protect the environment from organic waste. To ensure the quality of the excess food, providers are required to submit the storage conditions and the expiry dates of their products.
“Our application might be one of the first stepping stones against Food Waste for Egypt, leveraging on the technological and communication solutions of our time,” Menna adds.
According to the World Bank, Egypt rated 27.8% on poverty in 2015 while the Egyptian Food Bank rated 42.4% on average food loss in 2011, which is indeed ironic. Menna explains that the issue of excess food is a global problem that has to be tackled holistically from different perspectives either economic, behavioral or cultural. “Egypt lands in the top 20 of food wasters on a worldwide scale, with 73 kg per person annually,” she adds.
The food problem in Egypt is better understood through examining the food value chain which explains the stages of food production from cultivation to distribution, as Menna illustrates. According to her, the problems occur when loss of food happens either in the cultivation or the distribution parts. “At this stage of our company’s lifecycle, we decided to tackle the food waste problem first by creating an easy accessible market place for both retailers and consumers and in parallel drawing more attention to the overall problem before moving into food loss,” she adds.
Despite the thoughtful cause, Menna was worried about people’s reaction to the new idea and their adaptation with technology. Yet, the motivated lady aspired for an established future for her application to become a world leading platform that brings together all stakeholders involved across the food value chain, from public institutions, NGOs, charity organizations to privately held businesses, towards a more sustainable society. She is also hoping to collaborate with FAO in Egypt on their initiatives to reduce food waste.
However, Menna believes more efforts need to be done at the global scale to address the issue of food waste.
“We believe that connecting different parties along the food value chain will bring Egypt closer to a fundamental solution. For Tekeya, it means contributing by doing well as a business and doing good for society,” she states.
Tekeya has already been contacting food providers, and they are thrilled with the idea. It’s just a matter of time before we can all finally use it!