Woman from Scarborough recognised at the UN for her efforts in tackling global food waste

Tessa Clarke.
Tessa Clarke.

Growing up on a farm in Harwood Dale, food and the environment had a big part of Tessa Clarke’s life.

The experience instilled in her a respect for the environment which is now at the forefront of Olio, the app aiming to combat food waste that she co-founded.

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“I think when you grow up on a farm you realise just how important nature is,” she said.

“Ultimately we are part of an ecosystem and it is really important that we look after it.”

The negative impact of food waste on the planet is an increasingly important issue

The Olio App.

The Olio App.

It is estimated a third of food produced (to the value of £1 trillion), is thrown away.

Olio allows people to post food they have bought too much of, or aren’t going to use, which other users are then able to come and collect it for free.

After launching in July 2015, more than 1.8 million portions of food have been shared and the app has gained almost 2 million users.

Olio’s environmental impact of is equivalent to taking 5 million car miles worth of emissions off the road.

As well as this, Tessa explained the app is also helping to reconnect communities.

She said: “We didn’t fully anticipate how amazing people would find it to be connected to their neighbours — the human element is really powerful.”

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Olio was recently mentioned in front of the United Nations in New York by Rory Stewart.

Mr Stewart was presenting a review into the UK’s progress towards the Global Goals — 17 goals agreed on by world leaders for a better world by 2030.

Mr Stewart said: “The United Kingdom’s voluntary national review is an opportunity for us to reflect, both on how much we have done, but also how much more we must still do, both at home and abroad, if we are to achieve the Global Goals.

“It’s fantastic to see Tessa’s fantastic work to reduce food waste and make the world a better place by 2030.

“I would like to thank all of the OLIO team for their exceptional work and would encourage others to follow their lead.”

Tessa said: “It’s an enormous honour to be recognised and another opportunity to spread Olio’s message.

“We’re really pleased but we need 1 billion people sharing food to make a real difference to the climate crisis.”