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Petra Kaukua: “online platform for second class and surplus fruit and veg”

Danish 'Eat Grim' fruit and veg of all shapes and sizes

What comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours? Eat Grim fruit and vegetables from European farms directly to Danish doorsteps of course!

The online start-up Eat Grim had their first boxes of ‘ugly’ and mainly organic salvaged fruit and vegetables delivered just last week. This comes after they were ironically hampered by a too fast company growth during the past 2 years of Coronavirus lockdowns, and were forced to shut their doors at the end of last year. Now, with the help of new investors, Eat Grim, with founders Petra Kaukua, CEO from Finland and Carolin Schiemer, CMO from Germany, are happy to be the drivers of the platform to save second class fruit and vegetables from Denmark and Europe going to waste.

“Our first boxes were delivered last week. This surpassed our initial expectations with so many deliveries to subscribers who joined again. The feedback has been great from our 1 000 subscribers across Denmark. The re-launch is very exciting, we also have a new operational setup including a new warehouse and logistics partner. Our boxes go out to customers on Wednesdays, with the order deadline the week before that”, explains Kaukua.

“We define ourselves as a platform for second class and surplus fruit and vegetables. That which growers can normally not sell because the shapes, sizes and colours differ, or because of overproduction. Sometimes we also source produce that is too ripe or too raw for supermarket chains. For example, this could be from excess produce due to higher yields, or a hotter summer where salads could be growing faster than planned in a given week. In terms of the second class produce, we take all kinds. This includes produce with some skin damage, e.g. apples & apricots with marks due to a hail storm that are otherwise fresh, healthy and still edible. Everything that we buy and sell is good quality. We are creating a new quality standard for what is edible, but, which is mostly not cosmetically acceptable by the supermarkets.”


Eat Grim founders (l) Carolin Schiemer and (r) Petra Kaukua with  (middle) Mar van der List, head grower at Svanholm, Denmark  

“So far we have only sourced organic produce, Denmark is very advanced in this regard. But we have now expanded our sustainability offering and also offer conventional Danish produce. We were evaluating, how we can maximise the impact, with only 12% of farmland making up organic production in Denmark. We have high standards in terms of sustainability, and therefore we are seeking to expand this produce offering,” says Kaukua.

She looks back at their recent experience during the lockdowns. “Eat Grim was founded by myself and Carolin in 2018. We have been growing fast, and gained lot of exposure. People are looking for convenience but with sustainable solutions. In our brand, there is no greenwashing. We are directly reducing food waste and helping both farmers and consumers to do that. Over the past three years we saved 1 100 tons of food and created €1.4 mil income for farmers. By selling the edible produce instead of producing more, we have also prevented 420 tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.”

Eat Grim has worked with over 90 farmers across Europe. This includes Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany with a little bit of produce from France and Portugal. Depending on the season, half of the produce is sourced from Denmark, says Kaukua. “Typically anything between 10%-60% of produce grown cannot be sold due to the looks, which is a huge problem contributing to food waste in the supply chain. The WWF lists the reduction of food waste as one of the most impactful measures to limit climate change.”

“We help farmers by creating a new revenue source without producing more. Eat Grim helps farmers reduce food waste and loss at farms, making production more resource-efficient. For example, we are now trying to reach out to some banana importers to try and save crops that are in storage. We are always looking for new farmers to join the network,” says Kaukua.

“This brand has potential internationally. It is a global movement, seeking to solve a problem that is global with the same mission. For now, we are focusing strongly on the operational aspects while creating a strong back-end to the company. Eventually, we want to expand into Europe, Sweden and Germany as the next step. Our farmer network is already international. The supply side to the market is already there. We are busy building the right kind of operation with our investors, Torben Marvin Jensen and Rasmus Sindberg, who are not just investors but more like active partners in the business,” concludes Kaukua.

For more information
Petra Kaukua
Eat Grim
Tel: +45 28598394
Email: petra@eatgrim.com 
www.eatgrim.com 


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