The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that each year more than 1 billion tonnes of food is wasted. Local startup, UglyFood, has found that foods that are not cosmetically attractive (or “ugly”) are often wasted as they are viewed as less desirable to shoppers. The startup’s founders saw this as both a business and social-impact opportunity. So far, the business has diverted more than 7,384 perfectly edible fruits and vegetables by transforming them into juices, smoothies and popsicles. We conducted an interview with UglyFood to learn about the organisation’s mission, successes and future goals, as well as to shed light on how other startups can successfully grow their businesses.

When and how did UglyFood begin its operations? What is your company’s long-term vision?

Pei Shan, the founder of UglyFood and an SUTD-SMU Double Degree Programme graduate, developed an interest in food four years ago when her grandmother was stricken with cancer. In hopes that fruits and vegetables would alleviate her grandmother’s health condition, she started …