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CityBlue Hotels Takes Bite Out of Food Waste with Farm to Feed Partnership

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CityBlue Hotels, Africa’s rising star in the hospitality industry, has struck a deal with a Kenyan innovator that’s tackling a silent crisis on the continent – food waste. The hotel chain, known for its rapid expansion, has acquired an equity stake in Farm to Feed, a B2B platform that empowers farmers and fights food loss.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, a staggering 50% of what farmers produce never reaches a plate. This “ugly food,” often perfectly edible but cosmetically challenged, struggles to find a market. This not only impacts farmer livelihoods but also contributes significantly to methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas.

Claire van Enk, the visionary behind Farm to Feed, witnessed this firsthand. “The sheer waste post-COVID was heartbreaking,” she says. “It’s not just about food security, it’s about the environment and the economy too. Farmers were left with mountains of produce they couldn’t sell, and with limited access to cold storage, spoilage rates soared.”

Farm to Feed’s solution is a tech-powered marvel. They connect farmers with buyers, utilizing a network of on-the-ground aggregators and refrigerated transportation. This not only tackles market access challenges but also ensures quality control.

This partnership is a win-win for both parties. CityBlue Hotels strengthens its commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. Farm to Feed gains a strategic partner to amplify its impact and reach. Jameel Verjee, CityBlue’s CEO, sees this as a beacon for the industry. “Working with Farm to Feed elevates our ESG efforts,” he says, urging others to follow suit. “Beyond sourcing fresh, local ingredients for our hotels, we’re contributing to a more sustainable food system in Africa.”

This innovative collaboration is more than just good business; it’s a delicious recipe for positive change. By ensuring good food finds a good home, CityBlue Hotels and Farm to Feed are nourishing not just guests, but the very continent they call home. The environmental benefits are a welcome bonus. By reducing food waste and the associated methane emissions, this partnership is a small but significant step towards a greener future for Africa.

The Farm to Feed model also holds promise for long-term agricultural development. The platform’s data collection efforts can provide valuable insights into the root causes of food loss. This data can then be used to develop targeted interventions, such as improved storage facilities or training programs for farmers on better harvesting and handling techniques.

CityBlue Hotels’ investment in Farm to Feed is a commendable display of leadership within the hospitality industry. It paves the way for a future where hotels can play a more active role in promoting sustainable practices and giving back to the communities they serve.

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