Gaia Pulses wins the Future Summit Carbon Challenge
The conference covered the latest trends and innovations in areas such as carbon offsetting, sustainable packaging, ethical sourcing and more from leading food & drink founders and retail leaders.
Concluding the day, the Carbon Challenge asked four brands to pitch a plan for cutting one tonne of CO2 from their business in front of the conference audience. The entrepreneurs taking to the stage were Frankie Fox of foodloop, Lex Thornely of Blue Goose Coffee, Yolanda Antonopoulou of Gaia Pulses and Gregor Sey of Savora Drinks.
The winning business, Gaia Pulses, was chosen by a panel of judges comprising Phil Hails-Smith of Joelson, IFE Event Director Philippa Christer and Bread & Jam Founder Jason Gibb.
Gaia Pulses, which creates heritage Greek vegan meals, delivered hot to customers in sustainable packaging, secured a cheque for £3,000 and a free stand at the 2023 edition of IFE, International Food & Drink Event.
Director Yolanda Antonopoulou commented: “I feel grateful to Bread & Jam for organising the Sustainable Food Summit and to IFE, International Food & Drink Event for supporting it and offering me a free stand and marketing package for the next edition in 2023.
“Sustainability is the reason our company Gaia Pulses exists. At the Summit, food and drink entrepreneurs proved that they care along with 92% of UK adults who admit to being concerned about plastic pollution. Now Boroughs and Governments need to keep up with their commitments towards the necessary environmental policies and infrastructure. It seems unreal that still in the UK in 2022 only 43% of the plastic waste gets recycled with 54 million metric tonnes getting exported mainly to Turkey which unsurprisingly happens to be the worst country in the world at managing waste on the Global Waste Index.
“We all need to work together and make real change happen so that we can all have a future on this planet.”
IFE Event Director Philippa Christer added: “Sustainability is one of the defining challenges for the food & drink industry and it was great to conclude such an insightful day of content by hearing from start-up businesses tackling the issue head on and building sustainability into the core of their business. Huge congratulations to Yolanda and we can’t wait to see what Gaia Pulses does with this opportunity.”
Bread & Jam Founder Jason Gibb concluded: "The aim of the Carbon Challenge was to find inspiring examples of how the smartest entrepreneurs are reducing the carbon footprint of their businesses and with the support of Philippa and IFE I think we found a fantastic example in Yolanda."
Sustainability is a key issue for IFE, which works closely with charity partner City Harvest each year to reduce food waste around the event. The 2022 edition of IFE saw 12.9 tonnes of food donated to City Harvest, 30,828 meals delivered to charities to feed their communities and 49.3 tonnes of CO2e emissions prevented.