FOOD TECH SOLUTIONS
FarmDrop is an online farmers’ market working to support small-scale farmers in their marketing and distribution, while supporting local non-profits, food businesses, and farmer cooperatives that are helping to fill the food security gap currently felt within local food systems. As food pantries and meal sites seek more local produce to fill out their offerings on their shelves, food businesses are also under pressure to adopt social missions to help support the work of food security, while supporting their bottom lines. FarmDrop expects the business community to invest in this model for the future of our shared food system.
"Spoiler Alert technology has been supporting the Maine food system since it launched in Fall 2015. Through our partnership with Hannah Semler, we have carried out pilot projects in different areas of Maine to assess food recovery and distribution opportunities through the Spoiler Alert platform for seconds and surplus sales."
-Ricky Ashenfelter and Emily Malina, co-founders of Spoiler Alert
Surplus and seconds management on farms can be time consuming if there is not a ready market ensuring the sale of product. It is estimated that 16% of crops will not make to the next step of their productive life, and become cut off from markets based on any given combination of variables: bumper crops, seasonal changes, order cancellations (a.k.a. Simply Surplus) or crop failure, cosmetic imperfections, and operational errors (Ugly but Lovely). With Spoiler Alert this product can be marketed, farmers can post on farm seconds and in-field surplus, and waiting for a claim to make the investment to harvest. Farms can also donate in-field third harvest crops, market it as a gleaning opportunity to get the labor, and still get a tax-benefit on the donation.
“LeanPath has been partnering with Hannah Semler for several years to bring our food waste prevention systems to foodservice organizations, restaurants, and farms. Hannah has initiated several LeanPath pilot programs, from Spain to Maine, that have enabled the prevention of food waste through measurement, monitoring and coaching. Her passion and commitment to solving this issue from farm to kitchen is inspiring.”
- Andrew Shakman, Co-founder and CEO, LeanPath
With LeanPath food waste tracking devices, food recovery projects and farmers themselves can track losses generated on a farm, aggregating data over the course of a growing season, and producing impact measurement in real-time.
In addition to measuring the total loss and tax benefit value for farmers, when managing donations to food security organizations, the number of meals and servings can be accounted for as well. This tool can be used individually to make tracking surplus and donations easier for an organization, or it can be done as part of a larger concerted effort to accurately measure on-farm and post-harvest losses throughout a value-chain or foodshed.