What’s a Rejuce?!
We save fruit & veg surplus that is too big, small, loose or just too plain ugly from going to waste by turning it into beautiful juice. Our juice is not just environmentally ethical but is made from 100% fruit and vegetables with no reconstituted fruit pulp, preservatives or colourings. It is never from concentrate and it's all made from seasonal food surpluses in the UK.
Since 2012 we have saved over 50 tonnes of food surpluses, making everything from tasty, organic Juices to high-end five course Banquets. People want to make a difference when it comes to food waste, but sometimes it’s hard to change daily habits. We make it convenient for people to choose the ethical alternative, and in doing so they are helping with the food waste crisis.
Our kitchen is based in a small warehouse unit in Hackney Wick, East London. In these humble dwellings we play with food surplus to create tasty solutions to combat the global food waste travesty. From there we bottle, label and distrubte the juice to markets, events and festivals.
Unfortunately these seasonal funding oppurtinities are proving slow and financially risky. Hard work will only get you so far and we need capital to break into the drinks industry and compete with the big boys in the mass market. With this new weapon against edible food Surplus (mobile Kitchen and Washer lifter mill), we will increase our capacity exponentially by taking away the physical excursion of washing lifting and chopping the fruit & Vegetables by hand.
This will not only save my back but also enable us to save above 10 tons a day effortlessly in comparison, every day, 50 tons a week or 30,000 litres a week or 120,000 bottles a week. This will lower our cost per unit so much that we could outsource bottling to a professional packer that specialises in more eco friendly materials in bulk than we could afford and at a standard we would never be able to recreate as a small juice manufacturer.
We offer our juices at affordable prices because we don’t believe in pricing out our consumers; everyone should be entitled make a difference for a cleaner, sustainable environment. Not only does the juice taste better due to our unrelenting quest to find new flavour combinations and organic suppliers, but our years of ethical juicing experience mean that we don’t waste a single fleck of flavour nor a morsel of profit. We have a practical, social ethos to reinvest all profits to saving more food from going to waste.
My involvement in saving food waste and being a sustainable chef has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Sustain, a great NGO, made me a “green-cooks” ambassador, local newspapers and Jellied eel has featured Rejuce twice in their quarterly magazine. I have also had the privilege to present our ideas of tackling food waste problems at the European Union headquarters in an environmental conference to major world leaders. Although I thought they were listening at the time, we sadly haven’t come even close to making a worthwhile impact. And that’s…
Whats the BIG issue?
Up to one third of the food we produce goes to waste. The reasons vary from appearance to logistical limitations, despite the food being perfectly edible. This causes wider environmental problems including deforestation, transportation, food poverty, soil erosion, water displacement as well as increased real food prices.
In the UK, we waste 7 million tons of edible food just from households every year. If you go upstream to the sources- distributers, pack houses and farms- the numbers become unfathomable. We hope that by encouraging the reuse of this ugly/undesirable/loose produce we can open the door to changing perceptions and decrease our dependencies on foreign imports.
A Long Long time ago in a land Far Far away
I have always been interested in food and waste from an environmental standpoint and in 2010, during my masters in Environmental Politics and Globalisation at Kings College, I chose to study food justice.
By 2011 I had already begun skipping and one day I asked a local supermarket if I could have access to their waste produce. I then conceived and drafted a liability waiver, which passed any legal responsibly of the produce from the supplier to me. To my surprise they agreed and were very supportive of my efforts. Immediately, I went from saving two kilos per week to two hundred kilos per day. To do more, I moved from my small student flat and found an affordable space to build a production kitchen on a shoe string budget. By 2013 I was collecting up to 1 tonnes per week with an electric milk float (Eleanor). With the money we slowly bought bigger juicers, a family car and a trailer allowing us to collect from further a field. In 2014 we were collecting up to 2 tonnes per week. Finally in 2015 we received our first bit of funding from Urban Routes (£2000) which we used to purchase our super juicer (£5000): this can effortlessly juice up to 2 tonnes an hour. With this equipment we managed to save up to 10 tonnes in one day producing 6000 litres of juice in 2015. However, at present we can only manually feed 1 tonne per hour into it.
From our experience of selling directly into shops, pubs, clubs, bars and café’s we found that we could not compete with large established brands that were able to bottle and distribute in bulk. Regardless, we push on in every market, event and festival that we can. But now, the time has come take our brand to the next level and save larger amounts of food surplus all year round.
What are we going to do with your money?
Firstly, we would kit out a mobile juice kitchen that can go to the source of the problem inside a box trailer. This will save us 1/3rd of transportation costs and fossil fuels by cutting out one of the three legs of the journey every time we juice.
Secondly, we would buy a washer lifter mill (sounds exciting I know (SEARIOUS BIT OF KIT)) which will also allow the juicer to work more efficiently as it will be diced consistently finer and 4 times faster. Thirdly, we will be able to get an extra 30% of juice from the produce we are currently not able to get by manually feeding our super juicer.
And finally, we will be able to compete with bigger brands in terms of volume and more interestingly on wholesale prices per litre, despite being a small social enterprise. Unlike most soft drinks manufactures, as we increase output, the raw produce costs drop dramatically because of the nature of and abundance of our beautiful and not so ugly after all, ethically sources ingredients.
Your money will go a long way to saving thousands of tonnes of food. If only I had the money 5 years ago I wouldnt have spent my weekends building these terribly dangerous contraptions of collection!
Rewards - You Lucky pups!
We have a selection of gifts to encurrage you to give. However if you want swap any of them for more juice feel free to contact us. Please select on the right hand side and give what you can. If you work in London and manage to get 3 people from your office to pledge funds we will come and deliver enough juice for your whole office. Collections from our factory headquarters are more than welcome!
How else can you help Rejuce food Surplus?
With this equipment we will massively be able to increase our margins and make ourselves more attractive to retailers/consumers everywhere. If you know anybody in mass retail please direct him or her here.
However, you could just post this page on your social media platforms and help spread the call. For the wider issue you could start in your home. A great place to learn is the WRAP website and a great food is Waste to read about the causes and effects. It is as simple as not buying too much or asking for a doggy bag or freezing left over’s. My Gran still tells me stories about how food was rationed and thinks edible food waste is abominable whilst one out of 8 people worldwide are undernourished or 13.5% hungry. Yes Gran!
Remember, its not all about Nanning people you can have a lot of fun with food. I say we should all start playing with our food, maybe we would start to look at it differently if we did? If you want to follow our story please follow us on Instagram, Like us on Facebook and add us on Twitter. If you want to see some funny photos of how committed I am just scroll down. If not, thanks for reading and don’t be a waste-man.