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Capricorn’s Food Waste Challenge attracts wide interest

2022-08-17  Staff Reporter

Capricorn’s Food Waste Challenge attracts wide interest

The Capricorn Foundation recently announced the successful conclusion of entries for its Food Waste Challenge. In line with its vision to be Connectors of Positive Change, the foundation had called for innovative solutions from the public to reduce food waste in Namibia to help address the problem of food insecurity when it officially launched the Capricorn Foundation Food Waste Challenge at the end of June 2022. 

“We are excited to announce that 422 people registered for the challenge, and that 101 submissions were formally entered. These submissions included individual, team and business entity participants,” said Rikus Grobler, the Capricorn Group’s Manager of Innovation and project coordinator of the challenge. 

The Food Waste Challenge was based on an open innovation platform, offering N$100 000 for the winning solution. The Capricorn Foundation sought ideas for reducing food waste in Namibia that would create new possibilities in addressing the basic need of food security for the most vulnerable people in Namibia, and positively impact society to improve the quality of life of many Namibians. 

On Friday, 12 August, the entries closed and the foundation stated all submitted and completed proposals would be evaluated on a theoretical basis through an expert panel. A breakdown of the 101 entries shows 19 entries in the “Collecting” category, 15 entries in the “Distributing” category, 8 entries in the “Storing” category and 59 entries in the “Other” category.

Of the 101 entries, 20% were submitted by teams, and 80% were submitted by individuals. Most of the entries were from Namibia, but entries were also received from South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.

Participants who entered the challenge can expect the judging for Round 1 to conclude on 9 September 2022. During this three-week process, a shortlist will be created. Round Two is scheduled to take place from 13 September to 27 September 2022, which will include the evaluation of the short-listed candidates by a panel of experts. Finally, the announcement of the winning entry is expected to occur by 7 October 2022.

“Through this challenge, the Capricorn Foundation set out to find new possibilities that will provide original and impactful solutions for any part of the total value chain from collecting food waste from sources, verifying suitability for human consumption and distributing the food to receivers or distributors, where it can be further used or distributed to beneficiaries. We are grateful of the overwhelming positive response to the challenge, and it is clear that many Namibians are passionate about finding a solution to the problem of food waste. Identifying the winning solution is only the beginning of a process that we hope will address food insecurity of the most vulnerable of society.  We look forward to support the implementation of the winning solution as soon as possible”, said Marlize Horn, executive officer of the Capricorn Foundation. 

2022-08-17  Staff Reporter

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