Jamie Crummie is the co-founder & director at Too Good To Go, a food app inspiring and empowering users to fight food waste.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Before founding Too Good To Go, I worked in human rights law and spent some time with Amnesty International. This was when I really became aware of the issue of food waste, when in 2013, I attended an event that was purely catered for with food that would’ve otherwise been thrown away.
I realised that there must be a simpler and more accessible way to fight food waste than dumpster diving and so I started to explore the impact that technology could have in this space. While coming up with a solution, I connected with like-minded entrepreneurs in Copenhagen who were considering a similar idea and we decided to work together to create Too Good To Go. The rest is history!
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
No day is the same for me – which is one of the reasons why I love my job so much. As one of the co-founders I am often found conducting interviews with the media around the issue of food waste and the role Too Good To Go is playing in tackling it.
From radio shows to podcasts, newspapers and TV shows to magazines it’s important for us to get the word out there as much as possible if we’re going to achieve our dream of a planet with no food waste.
Alongside this, I lead our Movement initiatives in the UK. This is the side of the business which is all about working with schools, industries and governments to build a planet-friendly food system. For me it’s about seeing how we can bring everyone together in the fight against food waste, whether they are partners on our app or not.
Last year we launched our groundbreaking ‘Look, Smell, Taste, Don’t Waste’ campaign in the UK and I’m currently speaking to brands across the country to bring them on board. We’re planning our one year anniversary campaign for this in the coming weeks so that is something I’ve been working on recently too.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
We have a great office space in East London but I am able to decide which days I spend there and which I spend working at home. This works well for me as I can use the office for face to face meetings and keeping in touch with the wider team, or take the space to work from home when I need a quieter environment.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I’m a big fan of keeping active and having time away from work to recharge. I play rugby every week and can often be seen zipping around London on my bike. And, of course, as someone who works in the food industry, I love to get creative in the kitchen.
At home you’ll find me experimenting and rustling up something with leftovers – it doesn’t always end up Michelin star worthy, but I’ll always make sure that nothing goes to waste.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Being subjected to intermittent lockdowns and restrictions over the past year have made it tricky to establish structure and routines. Though one thing I have challenged myself to get into the habit of doing is to read a book of fiction each month.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
There are so many useful books, talks and podcasts that shed more light on the issue of food waste, but one of my favourites is Food Foolish by John M. Mandyck and Eric B. Schultz.
It explains how wasting food is one of the most foolish things we do as humanity and highlights the opportunities that are created when we waste less food. Research shows that over two thirds of Brits are unaware of the link between food waste and climate change – books like this can go a long way to helping reduce that worrying figure.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Genuinely, I couldn’t live without TGTG. It’s my favourite way to eat and that’s not because I don’t like cooking! I am not really into gadgets. The fanciest products I have probably top out at a blender and a soup jizzer – vital for soups and smoothies from the surplus fruit and veg I collect. Speaking from experience, using a potato masher doesn’t quite do it!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I would be thoroughly intrigued to hear the stories of world leaders, current and former, who balance responsibilities on a global scale alongside maintaining hobbies, interests and relationships.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I am a firm believer that it is super important to have other vices – be that exercise, socialising, cooking, reading whatever it may be. These allow us to re-energise and gain perspective. WIthout balance we risk burning out, losing motivation and missing the big picture.
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