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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 was a founder and co-director of the visionary, multi-award-winning, global environmental initiative: The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP). Set up in December 2013, to revolutionise the disposal of avoidable food waste into landfill. The pioneering movement’s manifesto was to: feed bellies, not bins. The project started with one cafe in Leeds and went on to inspire 120 cafes in seven countries. Consequently feeding over 17 million people from food waste.

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, upon his return to the UK, he was inspired to set up TRJFP.

Adam has received numerous plaudits and awards from organisations ranging from NESTA to The Observer.  Adam was voted one of the forty most influential men in the world by AskMen. Subsequently, The Telegraph voted Adam as one of the 50th most influential people in UK Food & Drink – Food & Drink Power List.

In 2022, Adam was appointed as CEO of Surplus To Purpose, a revolutionary catering enterprise utilising surplus food #SToP Wasting Food.  Also in 2022 Adam was named as an Unsung Hero of Leeds – celebrated in art by the Canal & River Trust and was featured at Leeds Waterfront in a large scale art installation – shown here. Overall, Surplus to Purpose diverted 322 tons of food in 2022 – equivalent to 767,000 meals. S2P then went on to divert an incredible 506 tons of food in 2023, which is the equivalent of 1.2 million meals!

Adam is currently writing a book due for publication next year.  He has been a featured speaker on a truly memorable TedX talk and his story is utterly inspiring.

Key presentation themes include:

  • Sustainability, environment and waste management
  • Overcoming adversity, mental health & neurodiversity
  • Leadership, teamwork and motivation
  • Change and change management
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Project management

Motivational speaker Adam Smith presentation feedback includes:

Adam was great – the students really enjoyed the session. I will no doubt be back in touch at some point, as we’d love to have Adam back again.” Catherine Yeo, Leadership, Management & Lifestyle Curriculum Manager Blackpool & Fylde College 2024

“Your talk was amazing and I think made a real impact on the audience” Joanna Colley Head of Media Relations, Conscious Communications

The talk was wonderful and inspiring. It sparked a really great conversation and I got really good feedback from the team.  I’ll definitely be recommending Adam to other organisations should they be looking for a speaker. Thank you again!” Tash Bristowe, SME Sales & Culture Manager, Sanctus – online speech

“Thank you for your inspiring and motivating presentation given today to the YH Healthier and Resilient Food Systems Network members and other delegates.  You really brought together what could be achieved at an individual and systems level and although gave no illusions as to how challenging this work can be really gave the delegates ideas and inspiration to take away with them as they progress this work.” Nicola Corrigan, HWB Programme Lead, Department of Health

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

“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 conference presentation

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

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

“[He] had a powerful effect on the audience. Thank you so much” Jacqui Staunton, Project Director, Climate Change Solutions Ltd


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