By Chris de Beer-Procter
The Compost Kitchen makes composting easy, affordable and eco-friendly
Meet Himkaar Singh and the Compost Kitchen, the impact business changing the organic recycling waste game, for the planet and for their customers. The Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship is proud to support this innovative startup and the entrepreneur behind it, working together to make profit and make a difference.
The Compost Kitchen gives clients an easy way to recycle their food waste. What’s even better, they get something back, nutrient rich vermicompost for their gardens.
Once a week, the company collects organic waste from their customers and then puts it through an entirely natural and environmentally responsible process using thousands of earthworms. The resulting compost is biologically rich and nutrient dense, perfect for organic farming, especially at home. The service is both convenient and surprisingly affordable.
“The journey to creating this business has taken a lifetime of research, impressions and thinking,” says Himkaar Singh, who is the founding CEO. The concept behind the company may seem simple, but it’s actually working towards a much bigger and more complex goal, of slowly improving our soil, food security and our water systems.
After studying his Masters in Integrated Water Resource Management abroad, Himkaar realised that “the soil’s impact on the water cycle is the most significant of any other factors, everything that happens downstream is determined when a raindrop hits the soil.”
“Intense agriculture techniques and urbanization are destroying the soil’s natural organic matter cycle and breaking its ability to hold water. In fact, 60% of land in South Africa has soil with very low organic matter making it conducive to degradation and low productivity,” Himkaar adds.
Using their organic waste recycling model, The Compost Kitchen fights against this degradation and aims to get organic matter back into the soil on a large scale.
The company officially registered in 2019 and has since grown a loyal base of clients who are dedicated to the movement for sustainable waste and follow the global trend towards homegrown organic produce.
Incredibly, the company proved their resilience during the Covid19 lockdown when they adapted to their customers’ changing needs. They provided them with seedlings and compost to help them grow their own food during the lockdown. The move worked so well that the company has seen their best growth during this tumultuous time.
“We consider this our biggest success because it shows that the business plays an important role in people’s lives and it shows that we are on the right path,” reflects Himkaar.
“Ours is a business model where every second someone spends on it, makes the world a better place. But we are absolutely up front that we are a business, not a non-profit, because we’re trying to show that the business landscape can be different. We still give customers value like a conventional business would, but we do it better.”
Himkaar believes that through their work, The Compost Kitchen can help shift South Africa towards better organic farming practices, and therefore greater food security, better soil and a healthier water system.
The Compost Kitchen, at its heart is a prime example of the progressive approach to economic development called the Circular Economy, working for both business and social good.
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