Food Plus: A ‘Smart’ Marketplace For Food Waste
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s recent Growth Within report revealed that over 30% of food produced in Europe each years ends up being wasted. Current initiatives have been focused on tackling the issues at the household and supermarket level. However, the Growth Within figures are reflective of the entire value chain and the challenge and opportunities for food manufacturers are just as important.
That’s where a new innovative platform, FoodPlus is designed to play a role. Many food manufacturers fail to sell their stock and after a certain time goods become known as ‘dead stock’. Once that happens, it has become waste and has to be disposed of (at a cost).
The FoodPlus platform, designed by Slovenian-based Smart Futuristic Innovations, acts as an online marketplace that allows suppliers to list their stock as it reaches its expiry point. The discounted food is listed on the platform for potential buyers, where price and logistics are organised (some provision for transportation is offered by FoodPlus). The system saves money for both parties involved and eliminates food waste.
The platform has launched with an initial phase focused on dry goods and the intention to develop information about stocks of produce and other food types during 2016.
Furthermore, Smart Futuristic Solutions CEO, Dalibor Matijević told Circulate that there are further opportunities to develop the platform, including the potential to embed a machine learning element, where users could be alerted to opportunities based on previous behaviour on the platform, their profile and how similar users had operated.
FoodPlus is a solution to a significant problem, but it also represents a business opportunity, enabled by digital technologies. Circulate recently covered the story of Washington D.C. based Hungry Harvest and their profitable food re-distribution model and there are a growing number of examples that prove that wasted food is an asset with very real economic value.