Class of 2022
29 / Oakland, USA
The entrepreneur taking food sustainability into her own hands
Hailing from the town of Sandwich in Massachusetts, USA, where her family run an ice cream business, Caroline Cotto was destined to work with food. It’s a vocation that has given her countless stamps in her passport and access to some of the US’ biggest organisations, from the UN World Food Programme to the White House.
Using her unique insight into the country’s food access and consumption, Caroline decided to tackle food-related global issues head on. During her career as a nutrition specialist and marketer, she has worked against world hunger, childhood obesity and most recently, sustainability. All these roads lead to Renewal Mill, the company she launched to help reduce food waste by turning by-products into nutritious ingredients.
Taking the reins as COO, Caroline has spearheaded Renewal Mill’s growing portfolio, which includes a range of vegan pantry staples. Gluten-free flours are generated with upcycled plant-based milk and there’s a dark chocolate brownie mix that’s made with recycled soybean pulp. With imagination and drive in spades, Caroline is constantly exploring new ways to repurpose by-products: her latest fixation is on spent grains left over from the beer brewing process.
Caroline’s next challenge is to share her vision with the world. She founded the Upcycled Food Association, drawing other gastronomic businesses into the fold. With every new member, Caroline is realising her goal of creating a circular food ecosystem.
“Food has the power to heal and unite people. I’m inspired to create products that do just that: food that educates and creates joy, while also tasting delicious.” – Caroline Cotto