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Brief Published: 3 Sep 2018

Fighting the Rising Tide of Food Waste


Each year, one third of all food produced globally for human consumption is wasted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. As consumers wake up to this problem, businesses are finding ever more inventive ways to harness the rising tide of waste created by supermarkets, restaurants and the food supply chain.

  • Box It Up: Launching as a trial in the UK, German discount supermarket giant Lidl's Too Good To Waste boxes contain 5kg of fruit and vegetables deemed edible, but no longer in perfect condition. The boxes will retail at £1.50 ($1.93) and will be available for the first two hours of each day. After that, the produce will be donated to local charitable causes as part of the chain's Feed It Back campaign.

    See also Tesco Ramps Up Anti-Waste Stance and Future Supermarket Strategies.
  • Hotels to the Rescue: Colorado hotel The Broadmoor is repurposing wasted food originally prepared for buffets and events at its on-site restaurants by sending it to a local homeless shelter in Colorado Springs, with 3,500 tonnes of food donated so far. The hotel also harvests its own honey and raises its own cattle on-site – partnering with local businesses to reduce wastage and food miles. 
  • One Block at a Time: Estonian start-up Delicia is set to launch a beta version of its decentralised waste-reducing food and drink trading platform, powered by blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). The system allows grocery and convenience retailers to sell food that is nearing expiration to local restaurants, or straight to consumers via a blockchain-powered app. The company will also use AI to analyse historical buying and selling patterns – creating a more efficient, transparent food chain.

    See Coffee's Next Chapter to find out how this technology is impacting the coffee supply chain.