Katy Barfield has always been moved to make a difference. She's worked across social enterprise and developed a specialisation in food rescue. Her ambitions drove her to create Yume Food, a platform that has diverted over 1.5 million kilos of food from landfill to date. Find out more about Yume Food
She sat down with us to share some insights.
We asked Katy to tell us about the importance of the individual in business, in an increasingly tech-driven world.
“People never cease to amaze me. People within large companies who still want to make a massive difference and just don't necessarily know how. Then they start to talk to their managers or they start to look around, do a bit of research as to how much product might be being thrown away. They start to table it relentlessly with different people around the company until they get some traction.
"Thank God for them really, because I don't know where we'd be without them. Because it's not always so easy to pick up the phone to the CEO of a major company and say, "Hey, you fancy coffee? Sometimes they take your call, but most of the time they don't. So we rely quite a lot on sort of agitators within companies and people that are trying to change the way things are done, change the status quo. So business as usual shouldn't be so usual anymore.”
With such success in Yume, we asked Katy how she stays on mission, and where her passion will be directed next.
“So for us, people might expect us to take profit over purpose. But for Yume we do the opposite. So mission creep is the death of a business like Yume, because that's our competitive advantage; our point of difference in the marketplace. The fact that if you buy food through Yume or you sell food through Yume, we will equate that to carbon dioxide that’s not been released into the atmosphere, water that’s not wasted, the whole cycle. So it's critically important that you stick to your mission.
“My passion project at the moment is a pilot that's happening in March. We're going to map a range of primary producers with a whole range of different products. This is fruit and veg. We're looking at how much of that harvest would not meet supermarket specifications. So it could be too big, too small, imperfections, you've got hail damage, whatever it might be. If we can pre-sell that product on the platform, so they say 20% of this crop's not going to make the grade. We can put that up on the platform, get a buyer to pledge to buy it, then they can harvest in the full knowledge they have a route to market. That's really exciting because it's kind of changing the whole supply chain on its head. If we can increase farmer's yields by even 10% that would have a significant impact on the industry."