Food wastage has become a growing matter of concern in past few years. With countries producing way more than they require and consume, nature and farmers is working overtime to yield fruits and vegetables. Food start ups have started targeting this issue with much concern and one such start up is Planet Table that has launched an online food ordering portal called Send, which connects farmers directly to restaurants in an attempt to eliminate food wastage.
The Tokyo-based start up provides a platform where farmers who deal in all kinds of edibles get their yield registered. From that database consumers such as restaurants can directly buy the produce that they require.
In an interview to Venture Beat, CEO Shin Kikuchi explained, “Our aim is to carefully connect a wide variety of supply with demand. 30 to 40% of farmed products in Japan are not sold on the market, so some people can effectively take advantage of this fact. Malformed tomatoes can be used in pasta sauces for example. All we have to supply in such a case would be fully matured tomatoes that don’t necessarily have the perfect form.
We are a distribution center for food producers and a direct farm food storage facility for chefs and patisseries. Traditionally, these consumers order the number of tomatoes they want by FAX. We streamlined the process using order sheets to be filled out upfront, so all consumers have to do is enter the number of items they’d like to order”, he added.
Send, in lieu of their services, charges 20-30% of the food cost as fee for sorting and delivering the produce.
Eight restaurant chefs have devised the logistics for Send that launched in August of this year. To make the process smoother, orders are collected in bulk and not individually. Once the orders have been placed, they are relayed to the producers/farmers who then pack the food items in boxes customer-wise. There on, the company takes over the delivery of the products.
With an inventory that covers up for the time lag between order placement and procuring food, Send is capable of next day or even same day delivery. In addition to effectively connecting the vendor and consumer, the company analyses food trends to “prevent a food loss ratio from rising above 3%, but Kikuchi believes that he can lower it further”, the Venture Beat quotes.
Planet Table launched its services in May 2014 and since then has rolled out two more enterprises – The Round Table and FoodQ. The Round Table is an online news media site that focuses on food and agriculture whereas FoodQ is a mobile app for customers with queries regarding food and nutrition.
Kikuchi aims at making his company a POS system for almost 10,000 of Tokyo’s well-known diners.