Fighting food waste while improving food access – with Courtney Bell of Ungraded Produce
Courtney is the founder of Ungraded Produce, an ugly produce delivery service operating in the Raleigh-Durham of North Carolina. She founded the company after spotting an opportunity to divert food that normally goes unpicked or unsold due to its appearance to consumers that have difficulty accessing fresh produce.
Since 2016, Ungraded Produce has rescued over 40,000 lbs of ‘ugly’ and surplus produce from going to waste and donated 18,000 lbs of produce to local food banks. In 2017, Courtney won the 18th Annual Duke Startup Challenge and the Audience Choice Award for her work.
In this episode we discuss:
- How Courtney found her mission and started the company
- The networks and support that helped her get off the ground
- How they are able to offer a delivery service and still undercut commercial retailers by 30%-50%
- The realities of being a female entrepreneur in this industry
- The barriers and issues to overcome when growing this kind of venture and how the company is going to scale up from here
If you want to find out more about Ungraded Produce you can have a look at their website here, or follow them on twitter here.