Creating an innovative market platform (2/2): Let’s talk logistics 

One of the substantial challenges in making our food system more sustainable is tackling food loss and food waste. Get Wasted aims to offer solutions through its innovative market platform by giving food surpluses, residual flows and waste streams a market value. As the platform gains more and more traction, an abundance of opportunities and future applications arise, as do the inevitable challenges sparking resolutions. In this part, we dive into all things logistics. Read the first part of this two-part series, on value assessment and pricing, and supply and demand here. 

23 maart 2023

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While perception of market value and coordination of volumes are certainly considerable challenges, the main difficulty for Get Wasted and similar circular platforms is this: logistics. Logistics, and its cost, coordination and timescale, ties into pricing and supply and demand in crucial ways. The challenges are related to both distance and to volume. Depending on the volume of the waste stream, they may or may not be worth enough to transport them once you factor in the price of transportation. 

A second challenge is to connect big volumes with small demand, and vice versa. It’s a matter of pooling and scattering side streams to connect supply and demand. Get Wasted is exploring the potential of reverse logistics and passive cooling. “Reverse logistics is promising for local partners that have recurring collaborations”, explains Frank De Meulder, Managing Director of Growzer, the hospitality CRM platform Get Wasted is built on and it’s IT-partner. “They can save space in their existing logistics network to include space for surpluses and waste streams.” A second option is the creation of centralized hubs where leftovers can be collected. “Working with a hub solves the issue of volume as you can reorganize and redistribute it in the hub”, Frank De Meulder continues. “As decentralized food hubs are few and far between, we are considering working with passive cooling as this guarantees the conservation of the cold chain, without the need to build a special warehouse.”

On the logistics front, Get Wasted is thrilled to have the know-how and support from partner Foodsavers Antwerp (FA) on board. FA, as a distribution platform, is part of the Antwerp social economy company Werkhaven. Since its founding in 2015, FA has systematically developed the logistical processing of food flows to Antwerp food aid organizations. FA has been a last-mile logistics partner since the pilot phase of Get Wasted. They aim to explore further logistical opportunities and provide Antwerp-based organizations, beyond food distribution, with access to Get Wasted. As with challenges concerning pricing, and supply and demand fluctuations, scaling up Get Wasted is a crucial step in smoothing out logistical issues. This is precisely what Get Wasted hopes to achieve in partnership with Circular Flanders. Curious to read more about the grant Get Wasted receives? Keep an eye on this blog.