Interview Food people
Today at 10.10 – Max van der Heijden
Geertje Zeegers has been country manager at Too Good To Go Nederland for about a year and a half now, an app that allows consumers to buy products that businesses such as supermarkets, bakeries and other food suppliers would otherwise throw away. In that role, she is responsible for the organization of the company and its growth in the Netherlands.
Prior to that, she worked for fifteen years at a consulting firm focused on data and AI. Where she was really behind the company’s success, she joined Too Good To Go in an organization that was a little further along.
What appealed to you about working at Too Good To Go?
“It combined two things: my passion for food and the food system in general and the fact that we are looking for a solution to food waste using a technical solution. My background is psychology and statistics. I am interested in human behavior. , why we do what we do and back it up numerically, and it kind of ties together on Too Good To Go.”
What does food mean to you?
“Food means almost everything to me. Traditionally, food in my home was very important. I grew up in a family where food was cooked with love and dinner was already discussed at breakfast. We enjoyed really good food, I still have it love for food , but I also have a love for the manufacturing process. Some people produce something with a lot of love and passion and I enjoy that immensely and that is also an important part of food for me. I choose holiday destinations based on the local kitchen, That’s why I think it’s a shame that some parts of our food system are so poorly put together. When you throw away food, you also throw away a lot of love, energy and passion.”
To what extent are you concerned about food waste at home?
“At home I use the 80/20 rule. I’m not someone who likes to preach, my goal is to stop wasting food, but getting to 100% waste-free is quite challenging. My boyfriend is already going a little crazy with me sometimes. Still, I do more things to make sure I don’t throw away food, like upgrading leftovers and buying smart, and I love using any produce like cauliflower leaves or radish leaves that you can make pesto with.”
How is Too Good To Go in the Netherlands?
“It’s actually going really well. We express everything in saved meals and a Magic Bag, no matter how many meals it contains, is a saved meal. A week and a half ago we saved our 15th meal. It shows that we’re making a real impact And we’re still growing, we now have 6,000 active partners on the app and 3.3 million consumers who have downloaded the app. We were also named the most inspiring company in the Netherlands for the fourth time in a row. Especially because it’s decided by consumers. It It is also striking that impact companies like Too Good To Go, where a good business model is combined with doing something good for the world, are becoming more and more visible.”
Too Good To Go also promotes not throwing away food in other ways, such as the look, smell, taste labels on products, how about that?
“We are working to really make an impact on food waste at the consumer’s home. Twenty brands have currently been added. The brand is already on the product or will be on it in the next production cycle. Because the brands are not on very long products. , it is too early for an investigation.”
When did you reach your goal?
“I never think. Our dream is a world without food waste. My dream is a Netherlands without food waste. I fear we will never get there. I would be very proud if we could offer a well-functioning solution at all points in the chain, so we can ensure attention and action at all points in the chain, with the producer, transporter, retailer and consumer, and we are also working on solutions to combat food waste earlier in the chain.”
Albert Heijn competes with you by launching Overstayers. How do you see it?
“You are only a success if you are copied. The planet could use all the help there is. So I want to thank the people who are committed to the fight against food waste. It shows that there is support for our mission. Fact I think that Albert Heijn comes with this as a confirmation for us that we are on the right track.”
For some people, Too Good To Go is primarily a way to save on their groceries. How do you see this group?
“Savings is the number 3 reason people use our app. Number 2 is the surprise effect and number 1 is because of the environment. I don’t really care why people use it. As long as the food is saved. How it happens makes no difference for me.”
Do you think you can change the world?
“I think so. I think we can change the world bag by bag, one bag at a time. I’m not running a marathon, but 42 times 1 kilometer. And every kilometer you have to celebrate. Every time you take a bag. from the trash can, you’ve already changed something. It might sound a little megalomaniac, but I really believe that.”
Is Too Good To Go redundant if it has reached its goal?
“We are no longer needed in the dream world. Unfortunately, it will be another 100,000 years before we get there. But when we do, we will really celebrate.”
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