Hungry Harvest: Proving There’s Money In Wasted Fruit and Veg
Recent research has shown that almost one third of the food produced globally is wasted. In the U.S., the figure reaches as high as 40%. There’s long been an intuitive assumption that there’s nothing wrong with most of the food wasted and a startup based in Washington D.C. called Hungry Harvest are now proving that intuition to be correct.
The company runs its business solely by selling the produce that farmers and wholesalers can’t use or don’t want, for example cucumbers that aren’t the right shade of green, or potatoes that are the wrong shape. It buys fruits and vegetables that have been heavily discounted (because they otherwise would become waste) and delivers bags of food as part of a subscription based model in D.C., Virginia and Maryland.
Founded by three recent graduates from the University of Maryland in 2014, the startup has already reached 600 subscribers, all of whom pay between $15 and 35$ per week, while reporting $250,000 in revenues. They manage to generate that level of profit while still giving away one bag of produce to food banks for every bag they sell.
The Hungry Harvest model provides just more evidence that there’s an economic opportunity in reducing food waste.