Driven by a mission to reduce food waste, San Francisco startup Souper Seconds is launching a new app on Earth Day—Friday, April 22—that puts more organic and pesticide-free food into the hands of producers. To do this, the company worked directly with organic California farmers and wholesale buyers to develop a digital marketplace that will deliver fresh produce to food manufacturers and others within the food industry.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, nearly 40 percent of food grown on US farms is wasted—half of which never leaves the field. These products, or ‘seconds,’ are passed over because they don’t meet the standards of mainstream retailers. This is where Souper Seconds marketplace comes in, connecting farmers with customers in the food industry to deliver this produce at a lower cost.
“As the demand for locally-sourced, chemical-free food continues to grow, it’s become increasingly difficult for farm-to-table restaurants to find—and afford—supplies of organic and pesticide-free produce on a regular basis,” says Megan Morris, Souper Seconds founder and CEO. “We are getting those organic seconds from farms to restaurants, chefs and juice companies who can take the blemished produce and make beautiful, healthy options for their customers. At the same time, we help farmers and growers sell more of the good produce that otherwise never makes it to the market and is subsequently wasted.”
The United Nations estimates the global cost of food waste is about $2.6 trillion per year. This includes roughly $700 billion in environmental costs and $900 billion in social costs.
By using the app, manufacturers can purchase directly from a supplier, avoiding lengthy conversations relating to availability, transportation and payment. After produce is purchased in the app, Souper Seconds takes care of the distribution and the food arrives at the wholesale buyer’s requested time.