When I, and most people think of food waste, we think of edible food needlessly being left to rot or be disposed of. However, I recently discovered that this definition is not always true. Hungarian culinary oil producer, Grapoila, have based their entire business model on the principle that unused remnants from the food production process that are considered to be waste, can be salvaged and used to create food. They are a business that have shown true food entrepreneurship for our modern times and beyond.
So, what is the story of Grapoila?
While still at university, Marianne Pincesz, the owner and founder of Grapoila, decided to set up a company to produce cold pressed grape seed oil using grape seeds sourced from Hungarian wine makers. As the business evolved, the company developed a zero waste ethos with the aim of trying to use the entire grape pomace (solid grape matter remaining after the wine making process). Via a process of experimentation and innovation, Grapoila were able to find ways of using every part of their grape waste matter, by transforming it into a variety of cosmetic and food products.
Grapoila is now 10 years old and have replicated their initial grape seed model, and are now producing cold pressed seed oils, seed flours and seed butters from the waste remains of an impressive 18 predominantly Hungarian crops. This number is constantly increasing as the clever innovators from Grapoila think outside the box and develop new ideas.
I spoke to Marianne about her company and learnt more about the impressive work that they are doing. You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.