Tackling Food Waste is a $2.5 Trillion Market Opportunity for Businesses

August 12th 2019

As popular debate continues to grow around the rising climate crisis, a new industry is emerging to take a bite out of one of the key culprits: Food waste.

According to the United Nations, food wasted in the supply chain and at the dining table is one of the biggest contributors to global climate change, generating 4.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent on an annual basis. Represented as a country, it would be third only to the U.S. and China.

The implications of that improvidence on the environment and society are evident. But, increasingly, economies are waking up to why it’s important for businesses to introduce measures to tackle the issue.

According to the U.N., the price tag for the combined costs of social, economic and environmental impact comes up to $2.5 trillion annually. That shortfall is also spawning a new wave of businesses hoping to take a piece of that pie with their food waste solutions.

Food redistribution

One such business is The Food Bank Singapore, a Singapore-based food bank that collects excess food from suppliers and re-distributes them to care homes and charitable organizations such as soup kitchens.

The non-profit organization’s co-founder Nichol Ng told CNBC it aims to tackle the two-fold issue of food waste and food scarcity by encouraging individuals and corporations to donate excess produce for redistribution among its network of 310 charities and 200,000 individuals.

But she said there’s still a long way to go in educating companies to limit food waste at the source.

“It’s still an uphill task, honestly,” Ng said Monday. “I think it’s also the way the market has been mapped out for many, many years,” she said, noting that supply chains are not well set up to respond to today’s changing food demands.


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