The Ketchup Project | game changer in the battle against food waste
DOEN Participaties and Brave New Food Investments (BNFI) are jointly investing 450,000 euros in The Ketchup Project, a sustainable initiative that combats food waste and empowers local Kenyan farmers. With this investment, The Ketchup Project can hire extra staff and invest in the purchase of its own drying hubs.
Sustainable ketchup for restaurants and fast food restaurants, interesting for those companies that have sustainability high on their agenda.
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Local drying hubs supply ingredients to The Ketchup Project
More than 50% of fruit and vegetable harvests in Kenya are thrown away because of unstable sales markets. To reduce post-harvest waste and losses, The Ketchup Project is developing local drying hubs to dry tomatoes and mangoes to extend the shelf life of the fruit by 1.5 years and thus utilize the full harvest. The company, run by 2 entrepreneurs, then buys the dried fruit at a fair price and bottles it into delicious ketchup. Their main flavour was developed in collaboration with a Michelin-starred chef and their entire product range contains just a few ingredients, all of which are organic, natural and free from refined sugars. The fair price farmers receive for their products means they have more money to invest in better living conditions.
Impact investors help scale up
“The capital provided will allow this project to continue to expand their drying capacity for tomatoes and mangoes in Kenya. It will also drive brand growth and commercial expansion, which we are all excited to be a part of. We have confidence in their ability to really make a difference,” said Vincent van Gorkom, co-founder of Brave New Food Investments.
DOEN Foundation has been supporting this project since 2019. Now its social investment company DOEN Participations is also on board. Beau-Anne Chilla, investment manager DOEN Participations: “DOEN is committed to shorter and fairer chains to combat food waste. The Ketchup Project fits this ambition. They make the chain tangibly and visibly more sustainable. In addition, they provide stable and significantly higher incomes for the small-scale Kenyan farmers, which visibly improves their living conditions.”
“The cooperation with Brave New Food Investments and DOEN Participations comes at the right time for us, because with their knowledge, expertise and network we can scale up faster and make sustainable ketchup the new norm,” adds Anne Janssens, co-founder of The Ketchup Project.
Sustainable farming methods
The Ketchup Project does not only combat food waste, but also focuses on sustainable production. The organization helps farmers – currently about 110 – to learn about and implement sustainable farming methods. The drying of tomatoes and mangoes is done on the basis of solar energy and uses less energy than the boiling of tomatoes. To prevent soil exhaustion, The project educates farmers on regenerative farming methods.
Fair and delicious ketchup in 3 flavours from The Ketchup Project
The project now has three flavours of ketchup, developed together with Michelin star chef Mohsine Korich: tomato ketchup, mango ketchup and smokey ketchup. The ketchup is for sale in the Netherlands at (web) shops like Picnic, Bidfood and Instock Market, and can be tasted at various restaurants in the Netherlands and is part of the HelloFresh meal boxes. It is a sustainable, healthy, delicious and fair alternative for the common ketchups in the Netherlands, which are often produced in China in an environmentally and humanly unfriendly way.