In 2019, we set out on an adventure to challenge the status quo of how our food system works. We decided to settle in Lisbon to find a solution to two problems: the fruit and vegetables we consume needlessly travel hundreds of kilometers from the farms to our plates; 1/3 of all food produced is wasted and ends up in the trash.
With limited experience in the food and farming sector, the only thing we were sure of was that our goal would be not only to support regional farmers in achieving a full harvest, but also to offer local consumers the chance to eat healthier, full of regional and seasonal produce. The result of this process? Equal Food Co. now offers a sustainable, healthy and convenient solution to our customers: a weekly basket of fresh, imperfect produce from regional farmers delivered straight to your door.
We started this project in Lisbon, Portugal, to help create a world where ⅓ of food doesn't end up in the garbage can. In the European Union alone, 50 million tons of fruit and vegetables (not even counting packaged and processed foods) end up in the trash every year. Around 1.3 billion tons of edible food around the world are thrown away every year, generating 8% of global CO2 emissions. (FAO, 2020). A large proportion of food waste is a direct result of the market's standards of beauty. A tart pear, a blemished avocado or a green lemon are not considered "pretty enough" and therefore usually end up in landfills. Our mission is to combat this problem and we look forward to a world where all food is used and nothing goes to waste.
We strive to maximize the amount of waste we can avoid by paying a fair price to our farmers, as well as to everyone else involved in our system. At the same time, we are constantly looking for ways to minimize our carbon footprint in transport, minimize the amount of plastic used for packaging and show how sexy imperfect fruit and vegetables can be.
We also want to make people happy: farmers, customers, employees and staff.
The way forward
We want to expand our offer of regional, seasonal and imperfect deliveries of fresh produce as much as possible. In the last year we have already managed to expand our delivery offer from Lisbon and its surroundings to Porto and its surroundings. We are planning to expand to other cities in Portugal and beyond. This growth has to be sustainable, however, and in line with our values before we take the next big step.