Dalibor Matijević has founded some six start-ups in the last eight years, combining lasting social innovation for people and for the environment. He embarked on this path as a child, helping all those who needed it. He is the founder and owner of the Robin Food store and trademark, which tackles global issues relating to social responsibility.
“I thought about Robin Hood, how he and his men in tights helped people in difficult situations. The story inspired me to begin a social enterprise and I opened the Robin Food store, through which we facilitate access to food.”
Where did the idea to start the Robin Food social enterprise come from?
“On average we throw out around a third of our food, which in Europe amounts to 88 million tonnes a year. This figure is shocking. Since I learnt that, I started to think about how I can help the EU achieve its goal of halving the amount of food waste by 2030.
I wanted to create something new and different. I thought about Robin Hood, how he and his men in tights helped people in difficult situations. The story inspired me to begin a social enterprise and I opened the Robin Food store, through which we facilitate access to food. We’ve also launched a website with the team, which is associated with the external FoodPlusX project and allows people to shop for food at low prices. In this way, even less food goes to waste. We help people and promote more responsible treatment of food storage, to put our vision of a world without food waste into practice. Why should edible food which is close to its expiry date or has only had the packaging damagedby the producer end up as waste?”
Where does your business experience come from?
“I studied business, and that’s how I learnt what works and what doesn’t. I found myself solving problems in the area of waste food and social responsibility.
Cooperation with local communities is important for me, so we connect with local fruit and vegetable producers, supporting Slovenian products and produce. We collaborate with suppliers from other EU member states such as Italy, Austria, Croatia and Poland, as well as with partner charity institutions that process waste goods. Through them we also obtain raw materials which we can process and use again.”
What are your aims for the future?
“I’d be happy to develop in the areas of social responsibility and expand Robin Food to other EU markets, getting involved with their food banks. I think the issue of excess of waste food exists everywhere, so it’s important that we strengthen the awareness of correct processes, something which is already being dealt with at an EU level. Waste food is the result of a number of factors, but the decisions we make and the responsible treatment of food is up to us.”
Do you have any advice for young people who want to make the world a better place and strengthen social responsibility?
“Fighting against the irresponsible treatment of food and the environment is a problem that I want to solve. Nothing is impossible with a little persistence, a positive attitude and with the right team which fully supports you every step of the way. So I’m looking for those that bring joy and help us develop. Only then can you make your dreams come true, find yourself and make positive changes for the next generation.”
This content was supplied by Corporate Identities / EU and Me