It's cheaper to give people a job in the social economy than to do nothing.
While the war in Ukraine and the increasingly extreme climate make our food more expensive, large amounts of perfectly edible food are lost daily throughout the food chain.
To tackle the food problem, ten partners in the UK, France and Belgium took part in the EU (Interreg) FLAVOUR project between 2019 and 2022. Within that project, they looked for new ways to save food and simultaneously create jobs for people in social economy (video).
In September 2022, the partners concluded the project in Brussels with stunning figures. Thanks to the work of VIVES Hogeschool and Plymouth Marjon University, we found that the project created more than €100 million in social returns between 2019 and 2022.
VIVES and Plymouth Marjon University calculated the Social Return on Investment (SROI) using the Social Value Engine, designed by the Social Value Team in Yorkshire. This method allow you to calculate a monetary value for social benefits resulting from your activities.
These social benefits manifest themselves in several ways: people struggling to find a job acquire professional skills while fighting food waste. In the process, they gain more self-confidence and become more active in their communities, resulting in less social isolation, etc.
The figures show the importance of an inclusive social economy. It is cheaper for society to give people a job than to do nothing. The project also shows that we need to be more careful with food. Not only because it is good for the climate, but also because it has a positive social impact.