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Boosting jobs with anti-waste fresh food baskets

Information updated on 30/05/23

Since February, the Montpellier-based company PimpUp has been offering fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables that producers were unable to sell. The baskets are prepared at Croix Rouge Insertion by people currently in vocational transition.

Bertrand Munich ©A.Viste

A tasty and supportive anti-waste initiative! Assisted by the Montpellier BIC incubator, PimpUp offers baskets with fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be thrown away, either because they are considered to be too small to meet distribution channel standards, or because the market cannot absorb all the ripe produce at the same time.
Founded in 2021, the start-up buys the produce at a fair price from growers, and then sells it in baskets prepared at Croix Rouge Insertion by people in vocational transition. Baskets ordered online on the PimpUp website can then be picked up at one of the 53 relay points located throughout the Montpellier metropolitan area.
This sensible approach is the outcome of a partnership between the startup specializing in anti-waste solutions and Croix Rouge Insertion - Capdife.

It was unthinkable to continue throwing away high quality fruit and vegetables,” explains Anaïs Lacombe, the company's general manager with Manon Pagnucco. She adds: “Our solution helps make up some of the income that growers would have lost.

The initiative goes much further than that: it actually helps people seeking work find their way back into the job market. Managed by Croix Rouge Insertion - Capdife, the basket preparation platform where they all work is based in Clermont-l’Hérault, west of Montpellier.

Based on the list sent to us by PimpUp, we prepare the orders, which are then sent to the various relay points,” explains Bertrand Munich, director of the association, whose mission is to assist people in vocational transition.

Since it was launched in February, the concept has enjoyed great success. The number of orders has increased from 400 to almost 700 baskets per week, and PimpUp (with 10 employees) has over 1,000 customers. This also gives activity a boost at the Croix Rouge Insertion - Capdife logistics platform. Anti-waste baskets provide a fresh approach for jobs.

Partnership between Croix Rouge Insertion and Montpellier CCAS

Croix Rouge Insertion - Capdife currently provides assistance to approximately 160 people undergoing vocational transition, also through a market gardening operation. The association has established a partnership with the city of Montpellier's Community Social Action Center (CCAS), providing fruit and vegetables to the beneficiaries in the center's care. In 2022, as a result of its various agricultural and environmental activities, Croix Rouge Insertion - Capdife was able to achieve a 74% return-to-work rate for the people it assists.