When it comes to a company mission, Motatos don’t lack ambition.
“We are proudly fighting the world’s food waste,” says Hanna Lindström, their Head of Communications. “It’s a huge [challenge]... Food waste happens without anybody thinking about it.”
It’s likely you’ve heard some of the headline-grabbing statistics on how much food needlessly ends up in the bin. But here are two more to chew on anyway: One-third of all food produced is wasted, something that costs the global economy £737bn every year.
For some people, numbers like that might be a bit dispiriting. It’s a big problem to fix.
But for the Motatos team, numbers like that are the reason they go to work every day.
“Food waste alone has a bigger [carbon] footprint than the entire fashion industry,” says Hanna, who points out that it’s not just what consumers throw away that contributes to the problem. Many suppliers and supermarkets also have major room for improvement.
The company is not alone in believing that a better world is possible. UK food waste has been cut by 27% since 2007 – and the growth of Motatos shows there’s hope elsewhere. Since starting in Sweden in 2013, they’ve grown to Finland, Denmark and Germany.
In case you’re not familiar, the way Motatos tackle food waste is simple and efficient.
Go to the company’s website and you’ll see the stock they have available, based on surplus stock that suppliers have.
“We never have the same assortment,” says Hanna. Customers “explore what’s [on the site] and build their order from that,” says Hanna.
Maybe it’s a Christmas bar purchased in March – but still perfectly good to eat. Or a carton of juice with slightly damaged packaging. Or pasta from a brand that’s changed its logo.
“Every product we save from waste has a positive impact on the climate… We get a lot of energy from knowing that we have a higher purpose to what we do.”
But for customers, making that difference is a lot simpler: "All you have to do is shop for food, something that you do every day."
Motatos is a business with a special purpose and plenty of growth already. So it’s not a surprise they don’t have time for the drain of needless paperwork and red tape.
"We looked into giving our employees a credit card," says Frida Grenås, the company’s Chief Financial Officer. "But the admin around it was quite extensive, so we wanted to find an easier way.
"Pleo in our daily life makes it possible to do expensing when the purchase is actually happening."
It works for Hanna too: "Pleo has a very good fit with our business and our team.
"We are all running a little faster than we can manage, so something that supports our way of working is a great thing."
Motatos and Pleo. Peas in a pod.