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Jenny Costa | Founder & CEO | Rubies in the Rubble

Jenny Costa: Minimizing Food Wastage through Sustainable Innovation

For a few decades, food wastage has been a growing concern. According to the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations, 1 out of 3 foods produced in the entire world is wasted. Every year, a loss of around US$ 680 billion is seen in the developed countries while the developing countries recorded around US$ 310 towards this wastage.
Although there have been many campaigns and awareness programs, there are very few people who are willingly working towards minimizing food wastage. With the aim to reduce the food wastage, Jenny Costa, the Founder and CEO of Rubies in the Rubble came up with a brilliant idea. Rubies in the Rubble is an award-winning, sustainable food brand known for making great tasting condiments that are packed with purpose.
Jenny graduated with an MA in Mathematics and Economics in 2008 before working in the city for 2 years. However, having always had a heart for sustainability and good food, she quit in 2011 to launch the food brand ‘Rubies in the Rubble’. Rubies in the Rubble is now launching into kinds of ketchup and mayos, with the aim of having an even bigger impact with more mainstream, everyday products.
She started making her first batches of relishes from otherwise wasted fruit and vegetables in 2011 and since then has been working with farmers and producers across the country to put surplus produce to good use and raise awareness around food waste and the need to value our food supply chain better.
Having been the first movers in building a food brand in the ‘anti-food waste’ space, their range of ketchups, mayo and relishes have won numerous awards and are stocked across the country in stores including Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsburys, EAT, Marriott, The Pig, Hippo Inns, Revolution Bars and The Breakfast Club.
In the following interview, Jenny elucidates on what it takes for Rubies in the Rubble and its cause to make the world a better place.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Being an entrepreneur, what difficulties and challenges do you face? What keeps you motivated?
There are constantly new challenges when running your own company. The biggest for me would be the sense of constantly learning key skills on the job like creating a team culture, managing people, efficiencies in your supply chain, keeping on track of sales targets and budgets and the list goes on! However, having a bigger purpose to just creating a product and selling it, keeps you motivated every day, even the hard ones.
Describe in brief about your company and its products
Rubies in the Rubble is known for making great tasting condiments that are packed with purpose. We have a range of ketchups, mayo and relishes all made from fruit and vegetables that would have otherwise been discarded. We are on a mission to end food waste and ensure we have a planet that can sustainably feed its people.
What advice would you give to the women who aspire to become entrepreneurs?
If you have an idea that you simply cant not do, you know the time is right to start! Go for it full-heartedly, concentrate on the consumer and how you reach them and build a great network of support around you. It’s a great but trialing adventure.
How do you motivate your team at your organization to be innovative and productive at work?
Our 3 values are to Be Resourceful, Dare to be different and Make the boring special. Questioning if we are holding to those keeps everyone in their team focused and acting like an entrepreneur.
Where do you envision yourself and your company in the near future?
We are on a mission to become THE household brand for sustainable condiments. We want to grow our brand and ultimately our impact and to do that we need to make the best products out there in the best possible way!