The social entrepreneur rethinking the food industry.
Abi Ramanan is committed to harnessing the power of the food industry for social good. She is focused on bringing radical, ethical solutions to the worldwide challenges of food production and waste. After several years working on campaigns and communication strategies for a range of NGOs including Stamp out Poverty, Oxfam GB and The Fairtrade Foundation, Abi turned her attention to social business.
Two self-sustaining social enterprises were Abi’s first foray into food. Papi’s Pickles provides fresh South Indian and Sri Lankan food for events, pop-ups and street food markets, while employing women who fled the conflict in Sri Lanka, wanting to rebuild their lives. DayOld is London’s first food surplus box scheme, repurposing and selling artisan baked goods that would otherwise go to waste, with profits going to tackle child hunger in London.
With growing enthusiasm for social business and awareness of accelerating tech developments, Abi won a place at Singularity University’s Global Solutions Programme in 2015. Here she co- founded ImpactVision, an early stage tech company that applies hyperspectral imaging analytics to food in order to reduce waste at a systemic level. Every item of food has a unique ‘spectral signature’ that can be recorded and used to digitise whole supply chains, for rapid and contactless assessment. ImpactVision will enable producers and consumers to see beyond the borders of human vision, allowing them to make ethical and health-driven decisions about food.
Abi is currently working with food industry partners, conducting pilots for the application of hyperspectral imaging, which is surely only the beginning of a very exciting journey.