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Goodly Foods: reducing the waste problem together

Spotted squash, crooked carrots and bruised tomatoes. Considered ‘cosmetically imperfect’ and rejected by the retail market, Goodly Foods collects these surplus products and turns them into delicious soups, sauces and stews. Dutch founder Aart Schuurman-Hess about his Vancouver based enterprise.

Agriculture is the largest sector in Canada with a strong focus on horticulture. As global leader in agriculture and the second largest agricultural exporter in the world, the Dutch have been instrumental for the thriving horticultural sector in British Columbia (BC). To get an impression of Dutch agricultural innovations in BC, the Dutch Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver and the Agricultural Team of the Netherlands Embassy spoke with several entrepreneurs about Dutch agricultural innovations in British Columbia.

Portrait of smiling gentleman in suit
Image: Evan Buggle

Co-founder of Goodly Foods and former Greater Vancouver food bank director, Aart Schuurman-Hess is particularly passionate about eliminating food waste. Not only because he was raised by post war generation parents who would never throw out food, but also because the current retail practice with high standards cause overproduction which is contributing to our global waste problem. 'Farmers put time and energy into growing their crops. To throw away perfectly good produce goes against my deep rooted values about food.'

Sustainable

The soups of Goodly Foods are 100 percent plant based and prepared with few ingredients. Board member and chef Karen Barnaby, is the mastermind behind the soup’s recipes: 'She is a sustainability cook who figures out ways to use the whole vegetable, including pits and skins', says Schuurman-Hess. 'We’re aiming for a zero waste policy when it comes to using our surplus foods. Recyclable and compostable packaging are a next step.'

Combining forces

In partnership with the Fulmer foundation and with the help of a substantial grant from the Walmart Foundation, Goodly Foods is off to a good start. Registered as a social enterprise that offers employment to individuals who experience barriers to enter the work place, the company is willing to become a for-profit company. Schuurman-Hess: 'Many similar initiatives remain small because of their not for profit or society status. We hope to become a big brand that can help these smaller companies grow so we can combine forces and reduce the food waste problem together.'