Food waste challenge attracts wide interest

Capricorn Foundation receives great response from public
Jamie-Lee Loss
The food waste challenge entries were successfully completed, according to the Capricorn Foundation. The foundation previously requested creative solutions from the public to reduce food waste in Namibia in order to help address the issue of food insecurity when it officially launched the challenge at the end of June, in keeping with its mission to be connectors of positive change.

“We are excited to announce that 422 people registered for the challenge and that 101 submissions were formally entered. These submissions included individual, team and business entity participants,” said Rikus Grobler, Capricorn Group’s manager of innovation and project coordinator of the challenge.

Based on an open innovation platform, the challenge is offering N$100 000 for the best solution.

The Capricorn Foundation requested suggestions for reducing food waste that would open up fresh avenues for addressing the most vulnerable Namibians' basic need for food security and have a positive impact on many Namibians' standard of living.

Entries closed on Friday, 12 August. An expert panel will evaluate all of the completed and submitted proposals on a theoretical basis.

“A solution to this problem would not only address the basic need of food security for the most vulnerable people in Namibia, but it can also positively impact our society and improve the quality of life of many Namibians,” Marlize Horn, the executive officer of the Capricorn Foundation, said.

A breakdown of the 101 entries can be categorised as follows:

• 19 entries in the ‘collecting’ category.

• 15 entries in the ‘distributing’ category.

• Eight entries in the ‘storing’ category.

• 59 entries in the ‘other’ category.

20% of the 101 entries were from teams, while 80% came from individuals. The majority of the submissions were from Namibia, although there were also submissions from Kenya, South Africa and Botswana.

The first round of judging for challenge participants will be completed on 9 September. A shortlist will be produced after this three-week procedure. The second round, from 13 to 27 September, will comprise of a panel of experts evaluating the shortlisted candidates. The winning entry will be revealed by 7 October.

“Through this challenge, the Capricorn Foundation set out to find new possibilities that will provide original and impactful solutions for any part of the total value chain from collecting food waste from sources, verifying suitability for human consumption and distributing the food to receivers/distributors, where it can be further used or distributed to beneficiaries," Horn said.