Food wastage is a massive global problem and every day in South tonnes of still consumable supermarket and restaurant food is dumped while countless South Africans go hungry. But perhaps not for long as local organisation, FoodForward SA, aims to intercept this so-called unsaleable food and put it in the mouths of struggling South Africans desperately in need of a good meal. It might seem like an impossible feat but a new digital platform, FoodShare, is making things easier by helping to recover excess food in the supply chain and ultimately redistribute it to non-profit organisations close by.
The saints at FoodForward SA seek out surplus food in the retail and restaurant industry in order to redistribute it to registered beneficiary organisation but, with limited people and resources, their job has been a difficult one. Usually, FoodForward SA requires a major logistical operation to collect, sort, and warehouse surplus food from donors and to distribute the products to beneficiary organisations but FoodShare is allowing them to use a virtual ‘warehouse’ approach instead. By using technology to virtually harness more surplus food, FoodShare instead connect retail stores and food outlets with local beneficiary organisations for the daily collection of surplus food.
This innovative new system offers a cost-effective way to reduce food waste by not only enabling FoodFoward SA to easily and virtually track inventory and measure tonnage distribution in real time but also by empowering beneficiaries to collect the food directly from retailers and restaurants, eliminating additional costs to businesses and streamlining the process. Research shows that around one third of all food produced in SA is wasted and FoodShare has proven that it can provide a meal at just 79c per day. FoodForward SA believes that this new technology is the key to increasing the variety of food available for consumption.
Since its inception at the beginning of 2017, FoodForward SA has redistributed 107481 tonnes of food across 138 different beneficiary organisations and 152 food stores and outlets, and thanks to FoodShare it’s only going to get better from here!
To find out more about FoodFoward SA and how to get involved, visit foodforwardsa.org.