Hubbub launches its Eat It Up Fund, with investment for innovators ready to tackle food waste

Following the success of its first year, environmental charity Hubbub has announced its Eat It Up Fund is now open for 2024 applications. Launched in 2023, the fund is aimed at innovators with creative solutions to tackle food waste.

The fund is looking for six projects that will each be awarded with £60,000 to develop their ideas over a 12-month period.

The latest figures from WRAP show that 25-30% of food produced globally is lost or wasted, contributing to 8-10% of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK, 10.7 million tonnes of food are wasted each year by UK households, food service, food manufacturers, retailers and farming.

The Eat It Up Fund is aimed at innovators with creative solutions to tackle edible food waste. Hubbub is looking for applications that:

  • Address pre-farm gate waste
  • Prevent food from being wasted at manufacturing and processing stage
  • Minimise food waste from retailers
  • Find ways to use surplus food in creative ways in communities or at home

Applicants need to either have projects that have been tested and are ready to scale-up or projects that are in the earlier stages of planning, with a concept ready to test.

Last year’s winners include Sow The City, who are using spent coffee grounds to cultivate mushrooms, and Chef Tom Hunt’s project ‘Forgotten Feast,’ who are developing the UK’s first regenerative, zero waste ice cream using closed loop principles. Three months on from receiving their funding, the projects have come a long way:

Manchester based social enterprise Sow the City have teamed up with Starbucks stores to collect waste coffee grounds, to cultivate mushrooms in. They’re now growing and harvesting oyster mushrooms and using these activities to host community workshops. Their next step is to distribute mushrooms using their solar-charged electric vans, to Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network.

Chef Hunt has developed recipes using surplus buttermilk, which is regularly wasted. Hunt has developed prototypes with exceptional texture and flavour, whilst building partnerships for ingredient supply and distribution. His first ice cream soft launches on the 18th May at Brockley Market with his Buttermilk, Vanilla and Honey Ice Cream and Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. Hunt will also be selling a lemon curd made with the leftover egg yolks from the macaron recipe.

Applicants for the Eat It Up Fund have up to 5pm on 14th June to submit an expression of interest. The fund is open to UK registered organisations including charities, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, schools, universities and colleges, local authorities and micro/small businesses with a clear social purpose.

Mark Breen, Senior Creative Partner at Hubbub said, “Last year, we saw a great appetite for the Eat It Up Fund from some very inspiring projects. This year we’re hungry to go even further to address edible food waste. The Eat It Up Fund is a fantastic opportunity for innovators with new concepts that are ready to test or existing ideas looking to expand, to fast track to the next stage in their development.”

Tom Hunt, eco-chef, food writer and sustainability consultant, said, “The Eat It Up Fund has given me the confidence and funding to turn a dream into reality! Three months in, I’ve developed an amazing product, invested in brand design and packaging, partnered with farmers, processors and retailers to help them reduce food waste. One lick at a time! Our ice cream will save edible food waste.”

The Eat it Up Fund is supported by donations from the Starbucks 5p cup charge, which is applied when a customer chooses to use a single-use cup. Introduced voluntarily in 2018, Starbucks has donated these funds to Hubbub to run campaigns that are good for the planet and for people.

Winners will receive funding from Hubbub over the 12 months, to develop their ideas.

For details on how to apply, please visit: