This article is part of a blog series introducing the startup teams of the EIT Food Accelerator Network Helsinki 2022 programme.
Food waste is a massive problem that is further emphasized by the global food crisis
Food waste is a massive problem on a global scale. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally.
World Food Programme (WFP) has estimated that this amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year, worth approximately 1 trillion euros. The global food crisis further emphasizes the problem and underlines the need for solutions to reduce losses and waste in the food chain and contribute to improving the efficiency of the food system. The crisis is quickly escalating with the rising food, fuel, and fertilizers costs. At the same time, the amount of people struggling to afford food is constantly rising.
Food waste also has a significant environmental impact. FAO has estimated that if food waste were a country, it would be the 3rd largest greenhouse gas emitter, after the United States and China. The resources needed to produce the lost or wasted food are estimated to have a total carbon footprint of more than 4 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
The European Union (EU) and the EU countries are committed to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 target to halve per capita food waste by 2030 and reduce food losses and waste along the food chain. Furthermore, the European Commission will propose legally binding targets to reduce food waste in EU countries by the end of 2023.
Biovaaka provides solutions to improve food system effectiveness by reducing food waste
Biovaaka develops and provides solutions to help prevent and reduce food waste in restaurants and professional kitchens. We can together contribute to improving the efficiency of the entire food system and create a positive handprint by reducing food waste at the end of the food chain.
Reducing food waste has a huge potential for reducing the resources we use to produce the food we eat. Being more efficient will save food for human consumption and help mitigate food production and consumption’s economic and environmental impact.
Our comprehensive and scalable solution enables continuous tracking of food production and waste in all the restaurant and kitchen processes, making food waste and its impacts visible to the restaurant customers and kitchen staff, and includes a comprehensive analytics solution to help lead and develop restaurant and kitchen operations based on meaningful metrics.
Continuous tracking of food production and waste on a sufficient level of granularity provides the basis for identifying the restaurant and kitchen processes where waste is produced, the economic and environmental impact of the waste, and contributing factors for the waste produced. This, in turn, helps identify the most effective actions to prevent and reduce food waste and its impact and continuously develop the effectiveness and sustainability of restaurant and kitchen operations.
It is essential that the tracking process and its tasks are not seen as an undue burden and that those are integrated with the existing processes and daily tasks in different types of restaurants and kitchens. We are addressing this need by providing various tracking solutions that enable scaling the solution according to the unique needs of different kinds of restaurant and kitchen environments to make food production and waste tracking seamless and effective.
Making the food waste and its impact visible engages the restaurant customers and kitchen staff in a joint effort to prevent and reduce food waste, influencing their mental models and behaviour. It also provides an important tool for restaurants and kitchens to communicate about food waste and its impacts as part of their sustainability communication.
We help our customers drive the change to prevent and reduce food waste in their operations and communicate about their efforts and results. As a result, our customers have achieved up to a 50 % reduction in the amount of food waste produced, translating into significant economic and environmental savings.
Our continuing journey with EIT FAN
Biovaaka is participating in the EIT FAN Helsinki 2022 programme. The programme has enabled us to connect with a vibrant group of impactful agrifood startups and several industry partners and allowed us to identify opportunities for collaboration, including opportunities for co-development and piloting our solution with industry partners.
We have benefited from learning and support in building further the necessary skills and capabilities for developing our business scalability and planning our entry into the international markets. The programme has also enabled us to network with potential investors and has provided us invaluable support in preparing to raise seed-round funding. We expect that the learnings from the programme and the EIT FAN network will continue to help us scale up our business and accelerate our future growth. We want to thank the EIT FAN Helsinki Hub team and experts for your support and making this possible!
Together we have an opportunity to achieve more
We dream that by helping to improve the food system’s effectiveness, we can ensure that everyone can afford food in the future. We contribute to this effort by helping to prevent and reduce food waste at the end of the food chain in restaurants and professional kitchens. This allows us to reduce the resources we use to produce the food we eat and, at the same time, save food for human consumption and helping to mitigate the economic and environmental impact of food production and consumption.
We challenge other industry partners to share our dream and consider how we could achieve even more with collaboration. We are especially looking to connect with other restaurant and professional kitchen ecosystem systems vendors to explore how we could use the information in our hands provided by our different systems to help make better and more sustainable choices. We would be happy to discuss more!
Written by Jukka Hänninen, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Biovaaka; and Laura Järvinen, Sales and Marketing Manager at Biovaaka