Masa Kogure

TABLE FOR TWO International
Year founded: 

TFT aims to shift the global food imbalance by “transferring excess calories” from the developed to the developing world, working to confront obesity and malnutrition.

Focus: Health, Food, Nutrition, Education
Geographic Area of Impact: Global
Model: Hybrid non-profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 19,300
Annual Budget: US$ 1,009,000
Percentage Earned Revenue: 84%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Asia, 2011

There are +925 million undernourished people in the world. At the same time, more than 1.6 billion are considered overweight or obese, many of whom suffer from conditions like diabetes and chronic heart disease. World food production could adequately feed all its inhabitants, yet there remains tremendous inequality in food access and distribution, a dichotomy between “undernutrition” and “overnutrition.” TFT addresses this global nutrition imbalance to benefit those suffering on both ends of the nutrition spectrum.

Innovation and Activities
TFT works with its partners to serve healthy, balanced meals to those in the developed world and transfer the excess calories to impoverished, undernourished children in the developing world, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike other programmes that combat child under-nutrition, TFT does not just transfer donations from the developed world, but actively promotes and works towards better health and nutrition for those on both sides of “the table".

TFT works with 500 partners in the developed world in Japan, US, UK, Switzerland, India, Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong, including corporate cafeterias, university dining halls, governments, and public restaurants. Partners serve balanced meals to their clients and transfer US$ 0.25 per meal (the value of the excess calories) to TFT and its Millennium Village Project, which currently serves nearly 19,000 school children in Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Rwanda. TFT options are also sold in more than 400 convenience stores in Japan.

The low-cost model designed by TFT has allowed for easier, widespread participation among those in the developed world, while TFT partners have found that raising meal prices for such a social cause has garnered positive employee and student interest. As a result, young students across Sub-Saharan Africa who have received free lunches have displayed higher enrolment and retention rates in school.

The Entrepreneur
First inspired by the suffering of a relative with heart disease, Masa Kogure worked in the artificial heart pump industry, using his training in biomechanical engineering on a series of cutting-edge technology projects in Japan. With a growing desire to understand the commercial mechanisms and markets that affect the technology he developed, Kogure joined McKinsey & Company as a consultant specializing in healthcare, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Experience gained as a consultant provided the valuable project management experience that allowed him to pursue the concept and establishment of TFT.