Innovation That Matters

Startup Full Harvest treats food waste as a distribution problem | Photo source Andres Carreno on Unsplash

A digital platform that prevents food waste

Food & Drink

The platform helps connect food producers who have surplus or imperfect produce with manufacturers who can use it

Spotted: According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, around 40 per cent of all food produced annually goes to waste. That is a huge amount of wasted resources – especially given that around 10 per cent of the global population are severely food insecure. Startup Full Harvest hopes to change this situation for the better by envisioning food waste as a distribution problem that can be solved by digitising the produce supply chain.

Full Harvest has developed a digital spot market for surplus or imperfect crops that allows buyers to easily see what suppliers have available. Their platform also includes an audit and verification process so buyers can match their exact needs with available rescued produce to minimise rejection. The resulting automation has already greatly helped to reduce food waste.

The company began in 2016, and has raised a total of $34.5 million in funding. They are also working with big name partners in the food and beverage industry to incorporate surplus and “wonky” produce into a wider range of products. Food manufacturing giant Danone recently began incorporating Full Harvest-verified “rescued produce” into its products.

The result for Danone is a much-needed increase in sustainability. “The importance of building more sustainable businesses has never been more evident, especially for those in the food and beverage space,” said Surbhi Martin, vice president of Greek yogurt and functional nutrition for Danone North America. “By sourcing produce online through Full Harvest and selecting fruit for our products that would otherwise have gone to waste, we are answering the growing consumer demand for more sustainable food options.”

Full Harvest is not alone in addressing the pressing issue of food waste. Food sharing app Olio, which connects those with food they don’t want with people who can use it, has so far brought in around $43 million in Series B funding. And Appeal, which has developed a new coating for fresh produce which helps it to stay fresher for longer has brought in around $250 million in Series E funding.   

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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