One of the most significant hidden costs in the global economy is that of food waste. From farming through logistics through packaging and finally, retail and the consumer, startups are endeavoring to reduce food waste. The diversity of companies addressing the problem range from agricultural engineers to technology experts, and every little helps.
The Cost of Food Waste
Food waste globally Is thought to cost around $3 trillion each year and many businesses seek to help reduce it. Between 30 and 40% of all fresh produce goes uneaten, and many growers believe this is a packaging problem.
Innovative engineers such as Jan Lievens, a table grape expert living in South Africa, disputes this. His company Umhewbo goes back to mother nature to reduce food waste at the farm. There are many different perspectives on solving food waste, so the sector is ripe for investors.
One of the most costly components of solving the food waste problem is communicating a clear message. There are many voices, each purporting to have a solution, and thus many small companies and experts seeking investment.
Some enterprising companies do seem to be heading in the right direction. While there is still a long way to go, they are chipping away at the problem and creating interesting and worthwhile investment opportunities.
One of the most innovative companies focusing on food waste is Strella Biotech. Founded by a group of students, Strella Biotech focuses on tracking and tracing apples from harvest to the store.
A total of 5 investors provided seed capital of $3.8 million in 2018. This smart technology company has seen the concept of a chip inside a box gain considerable interest. Providing information from the farm to the retailer, the smart chip helps the supply chain maintain ideal shipping conditions at all times.
Strella Biotech won the 2019 Presidents Innovation Award for its disruptive technology, and the company is steadily making good progress. That may only be a small piece of the food waste puzzle, but smart technology adds value in many ways in solving the food waste issue.
Extending the shelf life of fresh produce is a major part of reducing food waste. That is what US-based Apeel Sciences is trying to achieve with German retailer Edeka. Founded in 2012 by James Rogers, Apeel Technologies Inc has to date received $360 million of funding through 14 partners.
Specializing in biotechnology, agriculture, and waste reduction, Apeel works closely with other smaller specialists to find ways to increase the shelf life of fresh products dramatically.
Is Food Waste a Place to Invest?
The very size and cost of food waste alone should be reason enough to invest, if only from an ethical standpoint. However, the food waste problem has created a healthy eco-system of very worthy companies with bright ideas that need investment.
Finding such opportunities is straightforward using databases such as Fundz, and there are many to choose from. Providing information on many otherwise hidden opportunities for investment is where Fundz excels. Any one of these opportunities could reduce hunger, reduce food prices, and reduce food waste in general.