Fighting food waste is good business text in field

Picture food waste. Is it a dumpster behind a supermarket full of perfectly good groceries? Vegetables rotting in a field? A restaurant guest leaving half her dinner on the plate?

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One third of the global food production for human consumption is lost or wasted. Waste on the plate or in stores are big contributors, but to truly address the critical issue of food waste, we need to look at the “farm to distribution” supply chain, as nearly 75 percent of global food loss occurs before it reaches stores, including en route. As the world’s biggest operator in transporting food, Maersk wants to address the challenge using the latest technology.

“By 2050, we will be almost 10 billion people. This means that we need to produce as much food over the next 50 years as in the last 8000 to feed the world’s population. The time to address global food loss is now,” says Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Venture Partner for Fight Food Waste in Maersk Growth.

Opening the door to export

As a logistics operator, the focus of Maersk will be mainly in the early stages – from farm to distribution – including solutions for storage and cooling. Lack of access to cold chain technology are one of the major reasons that major food producing countries are not necessarily major exporters of food. Crops perish after harvest, research by Nottingham University shows or in warehouses without the necessary storage conditions, poor infrastructure and lack of education in post-harvest handling and quality control.

Shaping the Future of Trade

By providing new technological tools to keep food fresh longer – combined with knowledge to farmers and small businesses – we can not only address the challenge from a sustainability point of view, but from a business perspective by opening the door to new markets and making more companies export-ready.

The overall mission of Growth is to shape the future of trade. By helping more small farmers to deliver the necessary quality, we can help provide access to the global market.

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Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Venture Partner