18 Jun 2016

Surplus food market

From This Way Up, 12:35 pm on 18 June 2016

A new online marketplace targeting businesses is trying to tackle the global problem of food waste.

Citrus anyone?

Citrus anyone? Photo: Supplied

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates over a billion tonnes of food gets wasted every year around the world – that's about one-third of all the food we produce!

There are lots of initiatives around the world that aim to reduce food waste. There's Kiwharvest in Auckland, the Free Store in Wellington, the Roti Bank in India and Foodblessed in Lebanon. From a blemished apple to a pie that's been sat in a warmer for the day, most of these projects take excess foods and redistribute them to individuals. 

Cerplus' motto is 'ugly produce at pretty prices' and they're taking a different approach. Based in the US, Cerplus is connecting farmers and wholesalers directly with restaurants and businesses cutting out the food stores and supermarkets and creating a new online marketplace. The growers of the food get cash for produce that would otherwise go to waste... and it's good for the businesses buying the food who enjoy discounts of between 30 to 50 percent!

Simon Morton talks with Zoe Wong, the ‎co-founder and CEO of Cerplus.