SUR+ is a collaborative start-up project of designers and web-developers. Their aims are high and their goals are ambitious: fighting food waste and poverty at the same time. SUR+ focuses on food waste in the agricultural sector: bended cucumbers, misshaped apples and other fruits and vegetables that are currently thrown away. Their close collaboration with the Dutch Food Banks explains this focus on fruit and vegetables. Deficiencies in the composition of food packages handed out to people living in poverty concern predominantly those healthy food components.
How is SUR+ breaking the habit of food waste?
By using FIWARE, SUR+ has developed an online communication and data system to facilitate the collaboration between suppliers of food surpluses and Food banks, creating a market place for food surplus. The application for farmers enables them to donate their surplus food instead of disposal. The application for food banks creates insights on national level where to find food surplus, how it is geographically distributed and enables the food banks to respond quickly to donation notifications. The individual Food banks are responsible for execution of the transport. SUR+ matches supply and demand based on the amount of available surplus, so farmers only have to send a notification!
What are farmers receiving in return?
Because food charities are completely dependent on the willingness of producers and farmers to donate their food, SUR+ only works with completely free of charge food donations. This is at the core of the SUR+ vision that describes how value can be defined and experienced not only in economic terms, but also by psychological, sociological and ecological dimensions. Besides the psychological value of charity and the ecological value of saving food from going to waste, SUR+ offers the donating farmers positive branding for their company and the agricultural sector as a whole.
What kind of promotion activities have been executed by SUR+?
In the second half of 2015 SUR+ has run a pilot project in the southern part of The Netherlands. They have developed a communication strategy specifically targeting farmers in The Netherlands and are planning to start the promotion in the first half of 2016. The project is however widely presented in order to build a community and to raise national awareness about food waste in the agricultural sector. As part of this community building, SUR+ has also given a TEDx talk in Maastricht., You can watch the video here.
Want to know more about the SUR+ project or stay up-to-date? Visit their website at www.surplusproject.nl