Here are my notes from the session. Apologies for the poor formatting, I can’t seem to get it to copy over well from the OSX notes app. Basically filled circles are main points, unfilled are subpoints of those…
OSCE Days - Mesh Exchange
• 40% of produced food in North America wasted, full spectrum.
• 1/3 of that 40% at farm and production. Focus on this area.
• Solution: Create a B2B platform.
• Containers of food completely wasted.
◦ eg: container of avocados with wrong sticker, cannot be sold by retailers.
◦ too much work to resticker. companies not equipped to deal with this. Write off easier.
• Data needed: Frequency, volume, value.
◦ Need to identify how much each sector is wasting. eg: seafood, meat, dairy,
• $37B/year of food wasted
◦ Not including externalities: fuel, water, soil, man hours, etc.
• Very few companies have systems in place for finding recipients for unsuitable food
◦ Pain points
Communication with charities
Lack of tools for transport
Time: takes hours to coordinate even one delivery
Reputation. Quality of food transported when donated.
Storage in warehouse. Costs for inventory management
• “Craigslist” style website for linking producers with consumers
◦ Current platform based on ShareTribe. (OSS online exchange platform)
◦ Producer posts food for availability. Notifies consumers.
◦ Consumers can “order” and choose pickup time, amount (split orders possible)
◦ Closest is “Spoiler Alert”. Not interested in sharing software. Only interested in east coast.
◦ Another company in Ireland. No online component.
◦ Copia in USA. Small volume only.
◦ Another company provides distribution via their own truck fleet. 25% of exchange.
◦ Nothing entirely comparable.
• Food can be sold (B2B) or donated (B2Charity).
• Currently in 4-month pilot phase.
◦ Subscription fees for producers and consumers.
◦ % fee collected by ME for paid exchange.
◦ Donation one time nominal fee.
• Automatic tiered pricing.
5 days for human consumption sold to grocery store
food production (soups, smoothies, frozen goods, etc),
compost / animal feed
◦ Different classes of consumers will be notified for different levels
• Currently ~20 produce companies and several distributors in Vancouver that are interested.
• Case study:
◦ Cheese company needs to get rid of off-cuts
◦ Not suitable for sale, branding / quality issues.
◦ Too time consuming to deal with in any way, so just thrown way.
• What would the critical mass be?
◦ Needs minimum of $400k/year in revenue
◦ Don’t know breakdown of different types of food
• Chain of traceability / liability?
◦ Food donors encouragement act removes liability from food donors. Covers charity case.
◦ Agreements related to liability for consumers.
◦ Recipient would have to accept of
◦ Need to investigate liability responsibilities of virtual food handler. What are the obligations?
• Technology challenge - how do companies take inventory, their systems work, etc?
◦ Low end: paper & pencil
◦ High end: RFID barcodes
◦ Ideal world: API integration with MeshX to post items for sale
• How to Integrate with other company systems:
◦ Will likely need varied approach to deal with different levels of tech.
◦ API integration with Mesh Exchange
◦ Current slogans
Give food a second chance
Waste less and feed more
◦ Inspire producers to give to community
◦ Engage community to act responsibly with regards to producers
◦ Different types of marketing needed for different types of producers based on their world view.
eg: farmer vs. food manufacturer
• Appeal to business
◦ Waste costs, including storage space, staff, opportunity cost etc
◦ Organic disposal ban fines
◦ Many producers have had bad experience with donations in the past that have dissuaded them.
Late pickups, flaky, etc.
◦ Producers need responsible recipients so that producers can deal with consumers that act responsibly, professionally
• What scale of businesses could participate in the marketplace?
• Communication with larger food associations?
◦ Likely to come later, focus on individual producers first
• Long-term ideal is to get companies to reduce their waste in the first place.
• Build exchange platform and then use for other industries via rebranding.
• timeline for buyer needs vs: producer availability?
◦ Need more data on producer trends to know availability.
• What are the current consumers?
◦ churches, community centres, two small kitchens
• How are prices set?
◦ Investigating what the values are right now.
◦ Platform will negotiated with seller.
• Community Building
◦ Who’s the right person to build the relationship?
◦ Waste assessment can be used to convince producers
◦ Regulatory drivers. Legislation against food waste
◦ Customization for producers & consumers so use can be optimized
• Delivery of product
◦ Already working with iCourier - uber for B2B shipping
• AI / automatic scanning of food and creating of recipes from food potentially going to waste
• Popup business / adaptable market
• RFID scanner to detect state of food as it’s sitting on the shelves
• Lean/JIT food manufacturing.
• Computer vision to detect state of food and post it to the market place
• Capture and reuse food byproducts