4 and a half years ago, Claudia started the Feld project in Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria. She collects unsold food or food that is considered as « waste », she recooks it and therefore, she is fighting against food wasting.
A need to develop a personnel project
After a few years of farm jobs in summer and casual jobs in winter, Claudia and her friend Luzia wanted to change the way they use to work. They both wanted to keep working in farm in summer, but they had to do something during winter. But why doing interviews one after the other in front of a boss and beginning a competition with other people in need of the same job ? They decided to start there own project… but what ?
Without a lot of ressources, they soon realised they wanted to work with unused or recycled products. « We thought about different topics such as architecture, urbains spaces, but food was always coming back in our discussion ». They launched in december 2014 their association FELD : collecting food wastes and retransforming it into new food.
This project is entirely fights again food waste, a true inhuman problem in our countries where the consumption society makes and throw away huge amount of food.
A lot of phases
It first started with collecting food in the farmer markets and transforming it into preserves (jam, marmelade, chutneys…). Very soon, they could deliver -by bike- shops to sell it with a pay as you wish box. The goal was to invite people to taste unsual recipes (according to what they could get).
After one year, they collected more and more products. They started a new activity : cooking soup for workers in town and delivering it by bike.
By word of mouth, they became popular and were asked if they could cater for bigger events like the one we could attempt during our stay in Innsbruck : The Street Noise Festival, Strafiato.
Then the national TV came to shot a documentary and they could receive a donation. They used this donation to work with schools and raise awareness of food wasting among children.
Always looking for new projects, they launched new smaller events called « Dinner Deluxe » to show that it’s perfectly possible to cook fancy food with food wastes.
A growing network.
Step by step, FELD became popular among the agri-food companies. They are now collaborating mainly with farmers or cooperatives, with the City of Innsbruck wich allows them to collect fruits in the public areas (which no one dares to touch), with community gardens, with private people, and with a supermarket.
Figures are hard to tell but for instance, a carrot’s producer throws away 400 kg of carrots a year. A mushroom’s producer throws away 100 kg of mushrooms a week in high season… a potatoes cooperative throws away 20 to 25 tons of potatoes a year…
There is strength in unity
The founders, Claudia and Luzia, have now enough experience. They now want to develop their association into a small business. They created a cooperative called FELDshafft in february 2019 in which any former volunteer of the association could be involved into the project. Indeed, the more people there are, the more new ideas can emerge. The objectif is to professionalize the activity by consolidating the soup delivery, and by taking part regularly in catering events. They hope to be able to generate an income for what was until now, a volunteering activity.