NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Food waste is a major problem at multiple levels, whether it has to do with the consumer, supply chain, grocery or, ultimately at the food’s end of life, landfill. It’s a problem that all too often goes ignored, unnoticed and underserved, contributing negatively to food security, the environment and even climate change. The amount of food waste in America alone is simply mind numbing, weighing in at 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. That means 31% of all food produced annually is wasted. As a subcategory, 644 million tons of fruit and vegetables, or 42% of total supply, is wasted annually. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) joined with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to cut U.S. food waste by 50% by the year 2030. That seems an obtainable goal when technology combines with focus and support. Technology efforts include natural solutions to increase food longevity offered by agri-food-tech Save Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: SVFD) (Profile); focused efforts include governmental support such as that offered by the USDA and EPA, as well as industry assistance coming from major grocery chains such as Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST), Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) and Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (TSX: L) (OTC: LBLCF).
- Reducing food waste is instrumental in meeting U.S. and global carbon-reduction goals.
- Save Foods makes SavePROTECT and PeroStar, both all-natural, eco-friendly products for treating fruits and vegetables.
- One study showed that treatment with Save Foods products reduces decay rate.
- To date, more than 250,000 tons of fruits have been treated with Save Foods products
Save People, Save the Planet
Food waste is a social, humanitarian, economic and environment concern. Understand that waste isn’t just what gets thrown away in a kitchen, grocery store or hotel. It also includes product that never leaves the farm or spoils during distribution. Collect those billions of pounds of waste, and there are enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet.
Now think about all the energy that was used, not to mention the trillions of gallons of water, to grow, harvest, package and transport the 133 billion pounds of fruit, vegetables, meat and more that ultimately ended up in the Dumpster. If the United States, along with the rest of the world, genuinely want to meet carbon reduction targets by 2030, all involved need to take a close look at food waste, considering it accounts for about 8% of global emissions. According to Project Drawdown, when accounting for deforestation for farmland and annual adoption of plant-rich diets, reducing food waste by 50% to 75% by 2050 would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 95.1 gigatons.
Against this backdrop, Save Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: SVFD) is moving from nine successful pilot trials with five commercial partners to sales of its products as it looks to capture share in the $2.6 billion post-harvest treatment market. The products are all-natural, treatments made from a proprietary blend of food acids that reduce bacterial and fungal decay to dramatically increase shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the treatment leaves no harmful residues on the produce or in the environment while maintaining freshness over time.
Save Foods product ingredients are generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and are applied remarkably easily using existing equipment commonly utilized in the industry today, including sprayers, water tanks and foggers. While the products are safe, they actually make foods safer by cleaning, sanitizing and controlling pathogens on fresh produce. Better still, they are OMRI compliant for use on organic crops too.
The Proof Is in the Lime
Save Food products have been commercially validated on citrus fruits, mango, avocado, pears, bell peppers, microgreens and various fresh-cut vegetables. Adding to the list, the company is in the process of validating the process for bananas, apples, figs, berries, lettuce, papaya and other fruits and vegetables.
A case study with a lime packing house supplying leading food retailers in the United States and Europe put the protectiveness of Save Foods products on full display. In the study, limes treated with Save Foods technology were compared to untreated limes during a 21-day shelf life. The decay rate for limes treated with the current treatment limes was 4.6% across the time frame, which dropped to only 0.4% for those treated, with Save Food — an impressive 90% improvement. At a cost of $3,000 per ton of limes, this bears out to a loss of $138, or an additional $126 in gross profit, per ton. Considering that 10% of vegetables and 12% of fruits are wasted at the retail level every year, extrapolation of those figures results in tremendous savings for retailers across multiple food lines.
First Green Product
To date, more than 250,000 tons of fruit have been treated, demonstrating that Save Foods is the first green product with the potential to efficiently and safely replace the hazardous chemicals in use today. SVFD is already active in four regions with plans to focus initially on the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Italy and Israel markets.
These markets account for 85 million tons of produce annually, including lettuce, bell peppers, mangos, apples, pears, avocados, citrus fruits, papayas, tomatoes and bananas.
From Field to Fork
Because its products are applicable across the supply chain, Save Foods is targeting a wide array of customers and partners. The strategy includes building brand awareness with packing houses, distributors and food retailers as well as establishing channel partnerships with post-harvest service companies and collaborating with large players to benefit from synergies.
Re-established only three years ago, Save Foods has evolved quickly. Part of its success comes from developing partnerships with international companies such as SiCar Farms, Mor International, Sun Pacific owner of the Cuties brand, and 2B Fresh. Just this month, SiCar Farms, a leading lime producer based in Mexico that services U.S., Canadian and European markets, expanded its use of SavePROTECT, SVFD’s post-harvest treatment. SiCar, which grows Persian limes over more than 10,000 acres, has directed all its packing houses to start treating company-grown limes with SavePROTECT to provide customers long-lasting limes while simultaneously helping to reduce waste.
This expansion cannot go understated for what it could mean to Save Foods. SiCar not only grows its own products, but the company also manages the packing and distribution of more than 100,000 tons of Mexican-grown tropical fruits and vegetables at its packing centers in Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey.
In speaking to the new directive, SiCar Farms President Luis Gudino said: “We were amazed by the quick reaction by one of our customers, a major U.S. food retailer. Since we started using SavePROTECT on our Persian limes, the major retailer reported a five-day increase in shelf life. Internally, we noticed a 50% reduction in rotten lime count.” It doesn’t take an industry expert to recognize the upside if SiCar talks to its other partners about the benefits of SavePROTECT.
Grocers Aligned to Eliminate Food Waste
It’s a bit of a head-scratcher why these massive amounts of food waste don’t receive coverage on mainstream media when discussing carbon-free emissions targets. Perhaps food waste isn’t as sexy as talking about everyone driving an electric vehicles. However, the lack of attention on the political side doesn’t mean that companies aren’t actively working to reduce food waste for all the reasons mentioned above, which deserves recognition as it not only will help profits, but also help the world prosper.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), the world’s biggest retailer, has multiple initiatives in place to break the link between consumption and waste. In fact, Walmart has a stated goal to achieve zero waste in its operations in key markets, including the U.S., U.K., Japan and Canada, by 2025. Through its Project Gigaton, Walmart encourages its suppliers to measure and report food waste; introduce practices for reprocessing, donating and recycling; and standardize date labeling.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST), one of the largest wholesale clubs in the world, also understands the contributions it can make to reducing food waste. Reducing waste at landfills is a priority, with the company starting to track its diversion rate in 2018 on a quest to divert 80% of the waste generated within its global operations away from landfills. The diversion rate has risen incrementally from 71.4% in 2018 to 75.7% in 2020.
Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) has committed to be a net zero enterprise by 2040 and remains active with disclosing its carbon emissions annually with the CDP. The company works consciously to design waste right out of operations. When that is not possible, Target avoids sending trash to the dump as much as possible. In 2020, Target diverted 80.1% of its operational waste from the landfill.
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (TSX: L) (OTC: LBLCF), a major Canadian grocery chain operator with 22 regional and market segment banners, is rolling out a plan to reduce or divert the waste it produces by 50% by 2025, measured against 2016 baseline results. In 2019, Loblaw diverted nearly 3.4 million kilograms (7.5 million pounds) of bakery food waste from 129 Ontario grocery stores to produce animal feed for use at local farms.
It’s a slow grind, but we’re always moving towards a circular economy. Reshaping the current food-waste paradigm is part-and-parcel to creating a better planet because inefficiencies are a drain on natural resources and waste of energy, expenses and emissions. It’s great to see new technologies being embraced and ongoing efforts from some of the world’s biggest retailers to contribute as stewards to Earth for coming generations.
For more information about Save Foods Inc., please visit Save Foods Inc.
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