A milestone: platform launch

The Get Wasted platform is now officially launched and fully operational. A big milestone, and one that coincided with the inauguration of the brand new distribution hall of Foodsavers, one of our most valued partners. An excellent opportunity to talk in detail about why we do what we do, where we came from and what our next steps are going to be.   

7 July 2023

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From a circular perspective, one player's waste is the raw material for another. In contrast, in our current linear system, an estimated 30 to 40 per cent of food is wasted. Limes that are too yellow, crooked carrots, and cabbages that are too big to fit five in one box may not meet supermarket criteria, but are perfectly edible – and sometimes even more flavourful to boot.

Unfortunately, food surpluses are not a by-product, but an inherent part of a food system that requires overproduction to meet market criteria. Moreover, according to a recent study, 40% of Belgian schoolchildren come to school hungry, despite the apparant abundance of food available. By connecting these dots in a circular way, the Get Wasted platform was born: it offers a digital solution for food producers, food processors and schoolchildren alike. The platform is a circular online B2B marketplace for surplus food: it matches food producers with their ideal counterpart in the food system. Often, these are actors in the food value chain that traditionally do not connect - from farmers and wholesalers to mass caterers, schools and social economy - and who can now buy and sell food surpluses from and to each other. By attaching a price to food surpluses through Get Wasted, there’s now an incentive for producers and food suppliers to actively revalue their rejected products. Not only does this generate new revenue for them, it replaces the cost of processing surpluses into biofuel or worse, letting perfectly edible produce go to waste. Besides the environmental impact, Get Wasted also generates a social impact. Generally speaking, the social sector has little to no access to surplus food. Schools, but also care homes, social kitchens and hospitals, want to provide healthy food but are often constrained by tight budgets. In Antwerp, surplus food products of Atelier Claessens are currently being sold through the platform to social economy company Sense. Among other things, they turn them into soups that are served to Antwerp schools. There’s more good news on the horizon. Get Wasted received an additional grant from Flanders Circular. This will allow the platform to scale up. At the same time, EIT Food also increased its support which means the Get Wasted team can expand. The many leads in Antwerp and other areas in Flanders will be turned into users on the platform, resulting in less food waste and more socio-economic impact. And Get Wasted’s work reaches farther than the platform itself. Not only has Get Wasted become a part of the Antwerp Food Strategy, it’s now also has a seat in the Circular Foodchain Taskforce, thereby taking the inspiration from Antwerp to the Flemish level. Here, Get Wasted stimulates the debate around social distribution platforms and logistical needs in sustainable food initiatives. Get Wasted hopes to continue to support other cities, projects and governments in our country and offer an inspiriration with our insights and lessons learned as we help the shape the circular economy in Antwerp, Flanders and beyond.