Food waste is one the world’s most pressing problems. Each year, one-third of food produced, which amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes, is wasted globally. A study by the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that around 30-50% of food produced around the world is lost or wasted, while around 870 million people suffer from hunger globally. The economic costs of food loss and waste amount to about USD 1 trillion, or THB 31 trillion, each year. Additionally, global food loss and waste generates around 3,300 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions -which contribute to global warming- annually.
Moreover, food losses also occur along the production chain, which is directly attributed to entrepreneurs in the production sector, leading to enormous waste. This is partly due to excessively high food safety standards, causing large amounts of products that fail to meet these standards to be discarded. Moreover, most supermarkets make contracts tending towards monopoly with farmers, requiring farmers to supply them with vegetables and fruits with the preferred appearance, shape and size. This prompts the farmers to dispose of produce failing to meet such requirements in landfills as the supermarkets prohibit them from selling it at a lower price to any other buyer.
Presently, startups that turn food scraps into new products are increasingly gaining ground, adding value to what would other become food waste by means of upcycling. With the zero-waste movement gaining momentum, consumers are more likely to buy these products believing that by doing so, they help to address the food waste problem. These businesses also raise awareness about this issue and inspire people to do what they can to reduce wasted food at home. It is definitely an attractive option for those looking for a promising business idea that, not only saves the world, but also generates a profit.