For August, our Brand of the Month is Rubies in the Rubble, who are squeezing the most from today to make a ‘gooder’ tomorrow, with their delicious, anti-food waste condiments.
Did you know…
…that a third of all food produced globally is wasted?
For fruit and veg, the journey from farm to fork is complicated. Whether from farm to supermarket, supermarket to table or table to the bin, a lot of produce is discarded. Produce almost has to complete an ‘American Ninja Warrior’ style of journey. They must overcome volatile supply chains, shelf-life requirements and rigorous checks for quality and aesthetics.
Produce is wasted for a number of reasons, from shape to being overripe:
- SIZE – if veg isn’t the ‘standard size’, it’s trickier to process. e.g. tiny onions can’t fit in a peeling machine.
- SHAPE – farms may reject ‘curly’ cucumbers that may not fit regular supermarket packaging.
- BLEMISHES – customers may reject speckled bananas, as they are more likely to select ‘perfect looking’ fruit and veg.
- OVERRIPE – If produce is too ripe, supermarkets will reject them as it doesn’t meet a specific shelf life criterion.
- SURPLUS – supply chains can get disrupted by abundant harvests or seasonal in-store promotions.
The Original ‘Do-Gooder’
Growing up on a farm in Scotland, Rubies in the Rubble Founder Jenny Costa learnt to be resourceful with food. After learning about the dire issue of food waste and the amount of discarded produce, Jenny began rescuing produce from the market. She experimented with recipes for jams and chutneys in the kitchen. And just like that…Rubies in the Rubble was born.
Less waste, more taste!
Farms in Devon supply fresh fruit and veg for Rubie’s ketchup and relishes. Their mayos are made with aquafaba, water in which pulses have been cooked. With double the fruit and half the sugar as leading brands, their ketchup seems to tick all the right boxes!
A bottle that was particularly eye-catching to us was their banana ketchup! You heard right—fresh bananas with ginger and chilli can add a sweet and spicy kick to any dish. It’s a clear maverick of their range and raised questions from the Elephants…but also a curiosity to try it!
Rubie’s have cracked the code to reduce waste, preserve produce, and provide taste…and they have six ‘Great Taste Awards’ to prove it!
The Impact of Doing ‘Gooder’
7.2 million tons and £60 worth of food waste per household are being thrown away each year.
Rubie’s have created a delicious option for the average person to fight food waste. They also provide a new revenue stream for farmers who usually plough ‘wonky’ crops back into their fields. Rubie’s clearly values food as a precious resource and urges us all to think and act similarly.
Outside the condiment bottle, they launched their Goodism Blog, where they offer practical applications to combat food waste. Their collaboration with Toast Ale (our Brand of the Month last month!) to produce beer using surplus bread and wonky raspberries also raised a delicious toast to reducing food waste!
Over the past decade, the company has saved 351,600 kg of produce, equivalent to 294,500 kg of CO2 emissions. This undoubtedly contributed to their 2020 B-Corp Certification and B-Score of 80.9.
Rubie’s started their Carbon Neutral journey last year with the goal of making carbon-neutral ketchup and mayo. They aim to continue pushing for significant impact. Last year, they saved 180 tons of surplus produce and still continue to advocate for more action to reduce food waste.
After a decade, Rubies in the Rubble has become a pioneering voice in food sustainability. We’re glad to have stumbled upon this ruby in the rubble and look forward to hearing more about their future endeavours!