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Zero Food Waste City

By 2050,Istanbul will become Zero Food Waste City, thanks to digital surplus management platform and surplus management infrastructure.

Photo of Kubra Orak
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Whole Surplus

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

We will collaborate with Food Recovery Association (Gıda Kurtarma Derneği) to achieve our 2050 vision to create Zero Food Waste City.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Istanbul, a city in Turkey covers a total area of 5,461 km²

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

We are a team of people who were born in Istanbul, studied in Istanbul or living in Istanbul right now. All of us have spent enough time to see the food system challenges that Istanbul and local people face. Istanbul is the most populated city in Turkey, it is obvious that it has difficulty to feed local people, while food waste rates are increasing. Therefore, they need a change in their food system to ensure sustainable food for future generations.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Istanbul is the most populated city in Turkey, home for 15 million people. Mostly, it is seen as small Turkey for consisting a community from different ethnicity, cultures, religious backgrounds and levels of income.

For many centuries Istanbul was the city of opportunities for business, better life standards, education and high salaries. However, it is not the case for the last decades. More than 3,5 million people are under poverty line in Istanbul.  Unemployment rates reached to %13,9.  Every year 15 billion worth food goes to waste, while %30 of it is appropriate for human consumption.

It is known that mostly local governments provides basic foods to people in need in Istanbul, but they lack sufficient infrastructure, logistics, to provide continuous food donations. While market chains, retailers, distributors land fill their edible surplus food (contributing %8 of total carbon emission) because they do not know how to manage their surplus food.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

According to FAO, one third of the food produced for human consumption in the world goes to waste because of the quality standards (color, shape etc.) overproduction, incorrect logistic decisions, and the lack of information about use-by and best before dates.  While 14.5 million tonnes of food goes to waste, 1 of 9 people are malnourished in Turkey.  

Food business lack the tools and skill-set required to form and sustain a surplus management department. They have difficulty getting insight on their shrinkage, or they don’t know how to manage their surplus.Moreover, they need to form partnership with different institutions for different types of surplus food. Since it means extra workload, investment, most of the surplus foods end up being landfilled, even though they are appropriate for human consumption. On the other hand, there is not a sufficient infrastructure in Istanbul to provide food to people in need. Food banks and charities had difficulties on finding steady food donations.

In 2050, it is estimated that Istanbul’s population will reach to 18 million people. If the necessary actions were not taken, population under the poverty line will increase which lead people to buy cheap unhealthy food which will also increase obesity rates.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

We will achieve our vision by the help of technology and creation of a multistakeholder network for surplus food management.  

Digital platform will eliminate the barriers of surplus management and decide which option is the for surplus food and match it with the right partner. We will aim to bring hightest financial, social and environmental benefit in line with Food Recovery Hierarchy and create network of food banks, animal feed producers and recyclers for right surplus food management.

Secondly, we will establish 14 Social Impact Centers (food banks) to strengthen food banking infrastructure in Istanbul. This centers will provide food to people in need. Moreover, several workshops and activities will be organized to increase food waste awareness and sustainable healthy diets.

It is expecting to reduce food waste and carbon emission by redistribution of surplus food to food banks, animal feed producers and recycling centers.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

By 2050 we aim to develop Zero Food Waste City by multi-stake collaboration. More than %80 people  under the poverty line will reach continuous food donations thanks to 14 Social Impact Centers. Social Impact Centers will not only provide food, but they will lead important projects to enhance the lives and welfare of the community. It will be a community center where people can learn new skills, find employment opportunies and get together with other people in the community, helping and supporting each other, making the place better of both themselves and others.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

We can reach zero hunger just by ending food waste. Food waste is caused by inefficient distribution of food due to supply chain and planning problems. We do not have to produce more, we have enough food for all of us. When we reduce these inefficiencies we may even go with producing less food than we do now. With our digital infrastructure we create a circular economy with the surplus food. The value of the food is recovered with the best possible social, environmental and financial value. Private sector, NGO’s and governments should take the responsibility to allocate food to those in need in the right conditions. Our long term vision is to shed a light on our way to end waste and hunger by collecting a very large data set to be able to provide real-time insight on food surplus based on sku, time, location and amount to better manage production, procurement and distribution decisions and allocate surplus to those in need.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

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