JCU Alumna Linda Faison Invited to Pitch Business Idea to FAO Committee on Food Security

Linda Faison

JCU Alumna Linda Faison

The Committee on World Food Security, which serves as a forum for review of food security policies, launched an initiative aimed at engaging youth in agriculture and food systems in July 2015. JCU Alumna Linda Faison, who graduated in International Affairs in 2011, was one of ten applicants selected from all around the world. Linda was invited to pitch her business idea regarding waste-conscious management directly to a panel of experts.

1. How did it feel to pitch your business idea directly to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in front of large audience, as well as a panel of four experts in food security?
To find myself in a room filled with delegates was a bit intimidating at first. The only experience I had in public speaking was with university presentations. Our speeches were also translated live into the six official UN languages and transmitted directly on the FAO website – so no pressure! It was a great honor to receive feedback from the panelists. I entered the conference shaky but I left feeling empowered.

Linda appears at 1:14:40 of the video.

2. How did you get involved in this project and with FAO?
I participated in a week-long seminar this past July at John Cabot University in collaboration with FAO entitled “Communicating to Inspire Change: Food Security and Sustainability.” My idea developed during this course. I later received a notification that FAO was initiating a video contest on a very similar topic, so I entered my project.

3. How did you get the idea?
After hearing many lectures on food waste, the first thing that came to my mind was the idea of “take-away.” I grew up in the U.S. where this practice is widespread, whereas here in Europe it’s not very common. By brainstorming on take-away promotion and restaurant/consumer behavior, the idea of SCRAPS was born.

4. Tell us about your initiative.
SCRAPS is a rating and review platform that evaluates restaurants on the basis of waste-friendliness. These star-ratings are made public via the SCRAPS App where consumers can browse reviews and decide where to dine. The idea is to incentivize restaurants into adopting waste-conscious management.

5. What are the next steps? What is next for you?
That’s a million dollar question! I have received some great advice from social entrepreneurs and JCU professor Silvia Pulino as to how to best move forward. Hopefully this idea will get the backing to become something concrete. Finding a sponsor for SCRAPS would be the ideal next step.Linda Faison

Learn more about the Institute for Entrepreneurship at John Cabot University