Around the world, innovators are coming up with high-tech ways to tackle food waste. In this six-part series, we look at innovative apps set to tackle food waste. Number 6: FreshSurety.
Food waste is a huge problem and one that’s getting worse. In developing countries, the waste tends to happen at the beginning of the chain due to inferior harvesting, storing and cooling techniques. But in more developed countries, it’s consumer behaviour that tends to be the biggest cause of waste.
While many of the problems will require systematic change on a global level, others are solvable by smaller behavioural or process changes. And it’s these that software developers are seeking to address with a range of applications that are designed to keep food out of the waste bin.
There is an app for that
From farm to fork, if there is wastage in the food supply chain, the chances are there’s an app for that. In this six-part series, we look at high-tech solutions that are at the forefront of the fight against food waste.
Growing up on a tomato farm in Georgia and working in electronics engineering helped FreshSurety technical founder John Hodges realise he could apply advanced technology to help reduce the massive amount of waste associated with food logistics.
FreshSurety, which also took part in the Rabobank FoodBytes! programme, uses electronics, signal processing technology and ‘smell’ sensors to measure produce freshness and shelf life. With accurate metrics, players at each step of the value chain can identify where they can make improvements to save billions of dollars by reducing waste.
“Focus on real-world problems with workable solutions and measurable benefits”- Tom Schultz
“Our initial aims were to demonstrate the feasibility of using the technology,” said Tom Schultz, President and CEO of FreshSurety. “We’ve accomplished this, so now we are applying it to real world applications – fresh strawberries and stored apples – to prove the economics and generate revenue.”
If all goes according to plan, FreshSurety will soon be rolling out applications in products such as potatoes, cut flowers, citrus, and a wide range of other produce.
“It’s easy to get lost in the technology” added Schultz. “But we are remaining focused on real-world problems with workable solutions and measurable benefits. FreshSurety is building a portfolio of profitable applications with strong marketing partners and big potential markets.”
One of the spearheads of Rabobank’s ‘Kickstart Food’ programme is tackling waste throughout the food supply chain. Innovation is a key way of combatting food waste, which is why, through initiatives such as FoodBytes! and Terra, the bank is keen to highlight and support high-tech solutions.
Curious about the other innovations featured in this series about food waste apps, see: