New York: There’s gold in keeping bananas yellow.
Companies fighting food waste in the US attracted about $125 million (Dh459 million) in venture capital and private equity funding in the first 10 months of 2018, according to a report from ReFED, a coalition of nonprofits, businesses and government agencies. This amount is expected to rise.
Luring funding are products like smart tags that change color when milk goes bad, a mist to prolong the shelf life of fruit and software to help grocery stores order just the right amount of produce so they throw less away.
The solutions have skeptics, but the problem is generally acknowledged as an economic and ethical calamity. Every year, 1.4 billion tonnes of food — a third of global production — ends up in landfills. By some estimates, this adds up to nearly $1 trillion of annual squander and the production of about 8 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gases. At the same time, nearly 800 million people go hungry every day.
“Investors are seeing that food waste is a big business opportunity,” said Michelle Masek, head of marketing at Apeel Sciences Inc., which formed a partnership this month with a major European supplier of avocados that will use a water-based solution the company says extends the ripeness as many as four days.