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Adam Smith

Founder of The Real Junk Food Project, Adam Smith, is an inspirational social entrepreneur and acclaimed TedX speaker.  In addition to speaking about waste management, sustainability and the environment – he can address numerous themes including leadership, effective teamworking, project management and overcoming adversity.

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Social entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Adam Smith, is a founder and co-director of the visionary, multi-award-winning, global initiative: The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP). It was set up in December 2013 to distribute edible surplus food to individuals, cafes, schools and community groups.  The project’s aim is to revolutionise the disposal of avoidable food waste into landfill. The pioneering movement’s manifesto is to: `feed bellies, not bins’.

The Project

TRJFP has helped create over 120 projects in 7 countries, including South Korea, Japan, Israel, Germany, France and the U.K.

To date they have prevented 7000 tons of food from becoming waste – the equivalent of 16.6 million meals. In 2020 they intercepted 1500 tons – the equivalent of 3.6 million meals, from the single warehouse in Leeds.  During the Covid 19 pandemic, TRJFP began providing free food boxes for NHS staff. The project are planning to launch a Pay as You Feel (PAYF) café in Leeds once lockdown has been lifted.

The project’s HQ is their Kindness Warehouse stocked only with intercepted food, which is open 7 days a week. The team is mainly staffed by volunteers. Without them the work across the UK would not be possible.  The warehouse was launched in 2018, acting as a central hub to all of their work.  It is there to intercept surplus food and redistribute it. As Covid hit, a second site was opened to run the Kindness Sharehouse: Zero Waste Shop.  Here they sell magic boxes and Pay as You Feel surplus food.

The project became the charity partner of Wakefield AFC for the 2020/2021 season.  Their funds contribute to the day to day running of the social enterprise. Consequently, they continue to grow and prepare facilities to cope with new challenges.


A professional chef for over ten years, Adam has held a wealth of head chef positions, internationally. Whilst in Australia, Adam witnessed the scale of food waste, agriculturally and within the catering industry.  As a result on his return to the UK he was inspired to set up TRJFP.

Adam and TRJFP have received numerous plaudits and awards from organisations.  These range from NESTA to The Observer. He has been voted one of the forty most influential men in the world by AskMen. The Telegraph Food and Drink Power List voted Adam as one of the 50th most influential people in UK Food & Drink.

Adam is currently writing a book due for publication in 2021.  He has been a featured speaker on a truly memorable TedX talk.  As a motivational speaker his story is utterly inspiring.

Key presentation themes include:

  • Sustainability
  • Waste management
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Environment
  • Leadership & teamwork
  • Change and change management
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Project management
  • Mental health

 Please visit Adam’s website at www.mrjunkfoodchef.com for further details about him and to support his projects.

Motivational speaker Adam Smith presentation feedback includes:

He was one of the highlights of the conference. I’m so proud to have had him on stage and it has been a huge pleasure to get to know you both. Thanks for all of your help!” Helle Martens, Founder UX Copenhagen 2021

 “Wow the response we‘ve had from your inspirational talk is incredible” Marina Hoole COO Imployable – online networking event February 2021

“Thank you again for a truly motivational session.  We have had such amazing feedback from so many team members already.  Your honesty and vulnerability was inspiring and your story so very powerful.” Kate Perrin, Marketing Director, Barbour ABI online presentation February 2021.

Adam Smith is an engaging, informative and inspirational speaker. He is open to talking about any topic … Adam is very responsive and a pleasure to have as a guest speaker.” Helen Saul, Brand Manager, Lastminute.com – online presentation January 2021

“Hearing from Adam Smith, the founder of The Real Junk Food Project, about how the project has grown not only across the UK but internationally too! Very inspiring!” Zoe Howard Project & Programme Manager, Good Things Foundation.

“Adam Smith – an inspiration.” Fay Selvan CEO Biglife Group.

“Brilliant talk by Adam Smith from The Real Junk Food Project.” Marsha Smith Phd, Centre for Business in Society.

“A true inspiration.” Councillor Wyn Kidger, Chair Royal Society St George & Morley Community Archives.

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for your input to our session with Westfield Health last week. The group were really inspired by your story and your passion to make a real and growing change to the world and the lives of others.” Claire Bennett, Operations Director, Common Purpose – online event 2021


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