Giving Compass’ Take:
• GoMkt is a new app that lets patrons buy unsold food items to address the issue of food waste. It’s an example of private sector innovation combating a social issue.
• The article notes that governments should incentivize private sector solutions, but are there ways funders can also help?
• Build your understanding of food waste and read about other initiatives trying to solve food surplus issues.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that each year 30 to 40 percent of American food purchases end up in the trash, with restaurants contributing nearly 60,327,785 metric tons (133 billion pounds).
Matthew Holtzman hopes to shift the way Americans treat food waste via goMkt. Through an iOS app, goMkt enables customers to purchase unsold food items from food retail locations as takeout, saving up to 75 percent off the original price. Holtzman plans to launch a business-to-business market platform in the coming months to help larger food retailers manage their inventory and reduce their waste, as well.
The issue of food waste presents unique challenges to the private sector, in particular, small food businesses. Such businesses typically lose up to 10 percent of their inventory, or 43 billion pounds annually. Private sector businesses should be at the forefront of combating these issues because they are well-positioned to experiment and innovate rapidly, and also stand to benefit the most from the increased productivity and returns that these investments generate. It’s also important to note that promoting social responsibility programs resonates with customers and can also help them make informed decisions about their own behavior.
In my view, governments can play a critical role in identifying and combating this problem by incentivizing private sector solutions. While it’s clear that legislation can’t win hearts and minds in isolation, they can certainly steer the narrative in a positive direction and support innovation.
Read the full article about goMkt by Sean Alexander at Food Tank.
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