Young Entrepreneurs Awards Finalist: Christine Moseley
Initiative: Full Harvest
Country of impact: US
The first and only business-to-business marketplace connecting food companies to farms to buy ugly and surplus produce, solving farm food waste.
Did you know that 50-60% of romaine lettuce is left in the field in California, never to be eaten? And across the US, around 20% of fresh produce suffers the same fate? It’s perfectly good, delicious food that goes to waste because it’s ‘ugly’ or surplus to requirements. This is against a backdrop of one in seven Americans described as ‘food insecure’ and two-thirds as ‘obese’.
A B2B marketplace
Discovering this shocking reality was what spurred Christine Moseley to start up Full Harvest. It’s the first business-to-business produce marketplace connecting large farms to food and beverage companies. Soon it will also be open to food banks so that they can redistribute food that otherwise wouldn’t sell.
At its heart is a user-friendly tech platform, which acts as a one-stop-shop providing automated services like online payments, purchase orders and invoices, as well as communications tools. It makes selling, finding and buying excess produce fast and easy.
Since launch, Full Harvest has sold 2 million lbs of produce from US and Mexico farms. To grow that volume, approximately 100 million gallons of water would have been used (enough to provide drinking water for 500,000 people for a year), and 700,000kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted – all for nothing if the food is wasted.
From ugly to profitable
Full Harvest is already working with major national food and beverage companies, and Christine estimates that there is a US$12 billion market for ugly and surplus produce in the US alone. Next year her goal is to sell more than 20 million lbs of produce, to be working with farms in Central and South America, and to be at the forefront of a movement to drive out food waste.