Matriark Foods stands proudly on the front lines fighting both food waste and food security. With their products rooted in farming and flavor, the Matriark Foods team is providing a delicious and sustainable solution.

Matriark Foods CEO Anna Hammond joins our host Amy Koonin Taylor to break down their business model, explain their unique supply chain, and share some profound advice with budding female entrepreneurs.

On the inspiration behind Matriark Foods:

ANNA HAMMOND: “My passion was sparked for environmental sustainability way back in the 1970s. So that really dates me here, but my dad, who was a poet, took me to the first Earth Day celebration and said to me, as we were leaving this really big, beautiful festival, ‘Anna, every day should be Earth Day.’ So I would say my love of nature and all things clean and healthy really started in my childhood. Before launching Matriark, I built a healthy eating program for youth and families living in public housing in New York City. Public housing in New York City [accounts for approximately] the same number of people as live in the City of Atlanta. So it’s about the equivalent to the tenth largest city in the United States. The need for farmers to find extra income streams really was one of the main inspirations for launching Matriark. So to create greater access out of the excess food that exists all over the world.”

On defining upcycled food:

ANNA HAMMOND: “Upcycled foods use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment. So that’s the official definition, but what does that mean? In our case, we work with small to mid-scale firms and also large scale firms, in addition to fresh cut facilities. When food waste goes to landfill, it creates methane… which is one of the reasons that diverting food waste out of landfills is one of the most impactful environmental activities that you can do.”

On their unique product line:

ANNA HAMMOND: “The way we develop our products is quite different, and it’s really deeply informed by the value proposition of our business, which is diverting nutritious vegetables from landfills. When we first started out, we worked with a group of small farmers in the Portland, Maine Foodshed. We also interviewed a number of fresh cut facilities, also on the Eastern seaboard, about what their surplus and remnant streams were. So we got lists from both farmers and facilities in what they were throwing out, and taking those lists, of course, the first thing I saw jumping out at me was carrots, celery, and onions. And what do you make with carrots, celery, and onions? You make vegetable broth. So the first product really was a result of looking at what the problem was, as any good home chef would do.”

On a piece of life advice:

ANNA HAMMOND: “Life is a series of projects.”

Amy Koonin Taylor is Marketing Content and Media Manager at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.