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Disco Supu Nairobi - Taste the Waste

Recovering food from the horticulture value chain that was meant to go to waste - one event at a time

Photo of Marah Köberle
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Kenya exports about 350,000 tons of fruit and vegetable yearly which makes it to one of the top exporter countries worldwide. What is not counted in that figure is the fruit and vegetable that were grown for export but were actually never exported but wasted.

Due to various reasons, e.g. cosmetic standards of  importers and supermarkets in Europe or last minute cancellations, thousands of tons of produce perfectly fit to eat but a bit "ugly" never make it on a consumers table. While the local markets mostly can't absorb the amount of fruit and veg sorted out and some varieties grown for export don't meet the local taste those 'uglies' end up as compost, animal fodder or in landfills while having been grown for human consumption.

Disco Supu Nairobi cooks with those fruit and vegetable in open community events. While cooking and listening to music, visitors join in the activity, learn, dance and develop ideas on how to tackle this structural food waste problem.

The problem of thousands of tons of fruit and vegetable rejected and sorted out connects closely to the European reality and is a structural challenge. While Disco Soup Nairobi creates a forum and platform to discuss, we are aiming to find partners, e.g. soup kitchen, restaurants, caterers or schools to find sustainable channels for the now 'unwanted' food.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Mini Disco Guacamole or Disco Katchumbari (a kind of Kenyan salsa sauce): without many resources invite stakeholders around the table; invite them to make Guacamole and/or Katchumbari from 'rejected' food and vegetables and - over food - connect the first dots to find solutions for that social, economic and environmental challenge.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Creative input - develop (more ore less crazy) ideas who could be a suitable 'receiver' of the rejected food and vegetable. How to create even more awareness on food waste and help people understand global value chains.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s launched and we’re working on gathering more feedback – it’s existed for over 6 months


Join the conversation:

Photo of wekesa zab

Hi Marah Köberle  Thanks for the add.   Looking at the events, how we might attract a better mix to get the conversation on ongoing and Fun plus get the food waste conversation to the decision makers and impact of this state from a policy POV..  Do we get a chose the mix of people who attended? say - target folks who work across the same value chain?   check out this case study too .. ( )

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