By-products from food preparation processes of commercial kitchens in Singapore are discarded as currently there is a lack of low-cost, low-risk, and convenient alternatives to throwing them away. Of the 788k tons of food waste in Singapore in 2017, only 13% was recycled. Current efforts are insufficient to reduce food waste. Hence, we propose a platform that matches the demand and supply for unused commercial kitchen byproducts so that they are not discarded but becomes an asset to the user.
The problem of food waste is expected to grow unless efforts in both low-income and high-income countries are made. It represents a major economic and environmental threat, and is a major contributor to global climate change, therefore this present a major window of opportunity for action.
Around 1.3b tons of food is wasted per year, equal to a carbon footprint of 3.3b tons of CO2. 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030, further increasing the challenge of food waste.
The amount of food waste generated in Singapore has increased by 40% over the past 10 years. However, in 2017 only 13% of food waste was recycled. By-products created during the commercial food preparation are simply discarded due to a lack of low-cost, low-risk and convenient alternatives.
We propose a platform that aggregates the demand and supply for commercial kitchen by-products and matches the buyers with sellers. This redirects unused food ingredients towards other uses. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For example, a barbecue restaurant (seller) that serves deboned meat could sell the bones that were removed during the food preparation process to a soup restaurant (buyer) to make broth. This creates value to both buyer and seller. The buyer benefits from lower cost of procuring bones from the seller instead of an upstream distributor. The seller benefits from waste management cost savings as well as being able to monetize the by-products. This is not limited to processed products – other commonly discarded food can include bruised or oddly-shaped fruit and vegetables that is deemed unpresentable.
Our primary users are food service establishments generating a significant amount of food by-products that currently end up as waste in landfills. Our solution gives the users a way to sustainably manage these byproducts and generate an additional income. Customers can also include mobile kitchens, food banks, urban gardening facilities and even individual households.
RESTREAM taps into secondary markets connecting to waste streams and makes use of by-products to create a positive environmental impact, while maintaining the stakeholders’ interests. This opportunity of mutually beneficial trading between food establishments to tackle SDGs has not been realized yet.
An existing solution, Winnow solutions had a tracker in commercial kitchens to measure food waste and generate real time reports to drive behavior change. ASDA, Walmart in the UK repurposes excess food to food banks all across the UK to be used by the charity.
The market potential of repurposing byproducts that originate from kitchen food preparation has not been realized yet. Major barriers to commercialization include the lack of awareness and information about business partners both by potential sellers and buyers as well as costs linked to transport.
Repurposing by-products from the food preparation stage will address a significant quantity of food waste. This will directly contribute to the achievement of SDG target #12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’. Progress against its target to halve global per capita food waste will be easily measurable as the proposed application registers every single transaction between sellers and buyers, thereby quantifying ‘avoided waste’.
We plan to quickly develop a prototype and roll it out in Singapore. We will also reach out to potential collaborators like logistics or food safety certification services to integrate with our service. At the same time, we will work on bringing onboard food service establishments as users.
To further our idea, we will need help with Product and Service Validation and contact to Advisors and Mentors.