CityBlue Hotels, Africa’s fastest-growing local hotel chain, has taken an equity position in the business to business platform Farm to Feed, which sources imperfect surplus produce directly from farmers, increasing their income and fighting food loss. This enhances CityBlue’s environment sustainability and governance (ESG) credentials and solidifies the impact investment thesis of its parent, The Diar Group.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, up to 50 percent of crop production may be lost before the product reaches consumers. Market access is a huge problem for farmers with a lot of produce, especially the imperfect-looking kind.

“I saw firsthand what farmers were not selling even when markets returned after COVID, and it is a huge devastation not only on food security, but on the economy too.

“Food loss has a climate change aspect, with rotting food producing methane, a greenhouse gas that is worse than carbon dioxide,” said Claire van Enk, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Farm to Feed.

Farm to Feed’s tech-enabled platform paired on-the-ground aggregators and transportation using freezer trucks provides a solution to this climate issue setting a new standard for food sustainability in Kenya. Beyond sourcing imperfect produce, Farm to Feed is collecting data on drivers of food loss, to enhance farming practices and to create a more circular food system.

“Our ESG practices both as CityBlue Hotels and its parent, The Diar Group, will be enhanced by working alongside Farm to Feed.

“We hope that other businesses will follow our lead and work with Claire and her team in Africa on the pertinent issues of food security, sustainability and climate,” said Jameel Verjee, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CityBlue Hotels.