This week's show is all about my conversation with Andrew Schein, one of the guys running Toast Ale. And we explore a whole range of food waste issues during our chat – not least the fact that around 25% of any loaf of bread is thrown away and wasted.
It’s something the business is trying to tackle, grabbing surplus bread that would normally be thrown away, toasting it and then using it as one of the key ingredients in its brewing process to make great-tasting ale.
It’s a great story and the company is going from strength to strength, with stockists across London.
But Toast Ale’s story raised an interesting question. When does a campaign become a business? And can that even happen successfully?
A growing number of organisations – and we’ve featured a number on the show in recent weeks (from Hubbub, to Fairphone) are starting life as a campaign and then, at some point, have transitioned to become commercial entities. As you will hear, Andrew (pictured right) is fairly philosophical about that transition – that the separation that they have created between the enterprise that founded Toast Ale (a campaign group called Feedback) and the actual business gives them a clearly defined path to growth.
Of course, we’ve talked lots about how companies are increasingly thinking about why they exist – and the need to move beyond existing purely to keep shareholders happy. But what if you exist, in part, to provide funds for sustaining a charitable enterprise? It’s a really interesting concept and certainly left me with food for thought.
As ever, let me know what you think of Toast Ale and what they are trying to do.