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Full Harvest - Solving the food waste issue at the farm level

The 1st B2B platform connecting large farms to food & beverage companies to sell surplus & imperfect produce that would have gone to waste.

Photo of Christine Moseley

Written by

At least 16% of all food waste occurs at the farm level due to surplus or cosmetic reasons. Twenty billion pounds of produce are wasted annually in the U.S. alone simply because they are not perfectly shaped to meet stringent retailer criteria. And with many growers on the verge of bankruptcy and the CA drought worsening, this exacerbates a potentially explosive situation.


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At Full Harvest, we are solving the food waste problem at the farm level. Our B2B platform matches growers with food companies to sell discounted imperfect and surplus produce that would otherwise have been discarded, creating 3 value chain benefits:

1) Additional revenue stream for growers

2) Significant reduction in wasted food and resources

3) Lower costs for healthy food production

A win-win-win for everyone!


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What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Early this year, we launched the idea through our pilot program. Since then we have grown to include several large farms and buyers in just a few short months, saving a substantial amount of produce from going to waste, which required significant water to grow and would otherwise have created emissions.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We would love input in the area of logistics, demand-supply matching, quality control, food safety control and UX/UI design of the platform.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a passionate serial, social entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in the logistics and food industries at both Fortune 100 companies (P&G, Maersk- world's largest logistics company) as well as high-growth start-ups (Organic Avenue). Since the age of 17, I have worked on several of my own start-ups, including a music education on-profit, which is still growing 14 years later. I hold an MBA from Wharton Business School and BA from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s launched and we’re working on gathering more feedback – it’s existed for over 6 months

10 comments

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Comment
Photo of Ezgi Sengun
Team

Stephen Lynn  perhaps this is an avenue you could look into? Getting surplus food from the source - farm. 

Thanks

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Christine! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 09/28" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Christine, we updated the link to the Refinement Toolkit. Please use this new link instead: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/bda1f109-0466-4f8e-9699-1359e406df56.pdf

Photo of Ryan
Team

The idea of using leftover food from farms is a simple straightforward idea. However there are problems as you have stated. These problems being logistics, supply and demand, quality of goods and safety of the goods. The most prominent of these is supply and demand.
Supply and Demand is the back bone of this idea. If the supply and demand is not dealt with early, how will you know where to distribute the stock? I suggest creating a system that would start in a wide radius within your area of operations. Pinpoint places where your stock can be sold and re-used. Approach these places and find an arrangement where they get the proper amount of stock when they deem it necessary. From this point, look at your farms and how they produce stock. What farm produces more of this and how will you get the stock from point A to B.
After having your supply and demand dynamic for your stock, the next thing to tackle would be the logistics of the stock. The logistics are important because it directly correlates to supply and demand. It would be wise to find a way of transporting the stock. I recommend a box truck. However, use of trucks means taking fuel, maintenance, registration, etc. into account. Depending on how the logistics are set up, plan accordingly. If the logistics are setup in a way that allows full coverage of your clients the goal will have been achieved. This results in the systems having a positive effect on each other when they work in conjunction.
The execution of these two problems must be done first. If your idea is to move forward action must be taken now.

Photo of Amber Matthews
Team

Is it possible to dry the produce to increase their life span?

Photo of Nicholas Sylvester
Team

Hello,

Have you considered expanding your idea to include organic wastes from agriculture as well? There are a number of services and potential applications for agricultural waste, and making this an addition potential revenue stream for your users may be a good expansion opportunity. It would also allow the disposal of damaged or otherwise unusable food products – due to spoilage, lack of demand, or other issues – that would otherwise go untouched. Business like biogas producers, large scale entoculture operations, and other organic waste processing businesses could use your platform to supply themselves. These business, especially as the scale up, need very large quantities of organic waste. The success of your app in assisting in the distribution of edible products could very well be mirrored in the distribution of what would otherwise unambiguously be waste material.

The question of logistics seems like one that your company should not deal with directly, at least not in this stage of implementation. As your platform and userbase expand, you could look into offering or facilitating logistical services, but at this time, you are more of a market platform, focused entirely on business customers, and these customers will, by and large, have their own logistical resources available to them. Since you are not servicing the consumer market, nor even the microbusiness market, logistical services can be set aside for now. The only thing you might want to include is basic information – location and distance for the products offered, and perhaps allow the seller or buyer to provide specific estimates on their own logistical capabilities.

I look forward to seeing how this idea and platform grows,

Nicholas Sylvester

Photo of Chad Knutsen
Team

Hi mates! I really like your proposal, and ideas I feel that we could absolutely collaborate! My comany offers a sage, gmo free, natural way to dehydrate foods that would otherwise be lost to spoilage, or transportation delays etc. The products dehydrated using our methods maintain 100% of their nutritional content as well, and at a much lower cost than any other drying method.

feel free to check out my proposal at https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/our-sustainable-dehydration-turns-post-harvest-food-waste-into-profits-for-producers-and-nutrition-for-people

I would love to chat about working together to capture all this unnecessary waste!

Chad K.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Christine!

Congratulations on making it to the refinement phase! What are the next steps for Full Harvest (http://fullharvest.co)? Would you be able to share with us some more details on the business/logistics side of Full Harvest?

Photo of marco mihambo
Team

Hello! Christine! I hope you are doing fine! congratulation for your good and innovative ideas......may you please again visit this https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/urban-mushroom-farms-network-for-turning-wastes-into-oyster-mushrooms and advise accordingly regarding all aspects for further improvement

Photo of Ahmed
Team

Very good idea.This looks quite in line with the following idea:

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/reduce-food-wastage-at-the-farm-level