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🍏 "Helping Commercial Kitchens Reduce Food Waste & Save Money"

CleanTechies: The Podcast

Photo by Daniel Nijland / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Silas Mähner
Guest: David Jackson | Marketing Director | Winnow
Category: 🍏 Sustainable Food | Food Waste

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:19] “At Winnow we develop artificial intelligence tools to help chefs in […] large kitchens, so think a staff restaurant, a cruise ship, a casino, or a big hotel or resort, to run more profitable and sustainable operations by cutting food waste in half.”

[8:35] “One of the problems with food waste is that it's really difficult to measure. […] Traditionally, the way that food waste was measured was at the end of service, a chef or members of the team would create a waste sheet, and they would estimate the number of portions of particular dishes that were thrown away. They might enter that into that into some type of spreadsheets. But it's a pretty time consuming process. That data was pretty unreliable. And then when the data was kind of entered into a system, it wasn't presented back to the team in a kind of insightful way that could drive change.”

[9:19] “We've got a number of different solutions for different types of kitchens, but what we're best known for is our AI enabled solution Winnow Vision. And the way that works is effectively you're using the same type of technology that you find in a driverless car, for example, and you're teaching a machine to be able to see. And the way that you teach that machine to see is you […] collect lots of images, you label those images, and then you feed them through into a computer vision model. And then when there's enough data within that model, then we're able to predict with a new image what the item is.”

[9:54] “IKEA is one of our biggest customers […]. And so at the end of a particular service, there might be some meatballs that are left over on the hot counter […] [that get] thrown into the bin. There's a terminal that sits over the top of the bin that takes a picture. And there's a digital scale that sits underneath the bin kind of capturing the weight. […] In real time, the AI will predict what the item was. And so either it will identify the item as meatballs, or present a range of a shortlist of options for the user to use a touchscreen. […] And in the cloud, we know the cost file, we know […] the cost per kilo of all of the different food items that you might find in that kitchen. And with those three pieces of information, the weight, the item and the cost, we can then feedback in real time, that was $12 worth of meatballs that just was just thrown away.”

[11:13] “Over the course of the service, we capture each one of those transactions. We then aggregate that in the cloud and our analytics platform will give a report to the team the next day that pinpoints exactly where they lost the most money, where different kinds of items are being wasted at what points in the day. And with that insight, we find that teams can typically cut food waste in half within about 12 to 24 months.”

[11:52] “We traditionally in our industry used to underestimate the amount of food that's being wasted. So a typical kitchen might in its accounts have a line for say 3%, maybe 5% of all the food that gets purchased being wasted. But in reality, our data captured in over 1,000 kitchens shows that the real number is likely to be between 5 and 15% of all the food that's purchased. And in some cases that can be 20% or more. So if we're able to cut that in half, that's a significant cost saving for the business while you're also doing the right thing for the environment as well.”

[12:43] “If you think about the global food system, […] somewhere between a third and 40% of all of the food that gets produced from farm to fork ends up being lost or wasted. […] Imagine a landmass the size of China and then all of the food grown on that landmass being thrown in the bin every year. And so that is the scale of food waste on a global level. […] Some estimates will show a trillion dollars or more being lost every year because of the food that's, that's being wasted. […] Somewhere between 8 and 10% of global greenhouse gasses come from food waste. So it is a significant proportion of our total global emissions.”

[14:18] “The food system is complex. And so there's lots of different places [where] food will be lost or wasted across the value chain. Within our kind of little sliver of that, we estimate around $100 billion worth of food is lost in the hospitality sector every year. […] From a moral standpoint, you've got 800 million people who are malnourished or or don't have enough food to put on the table.”

[35:10] “I think there's a debate happening at the moment in lots of different countries around, how do we drive down food waste in our consumer facing businesses? How do we create a policy environment, which is conducive to that? And should the government step in, and for example, mandate food waste reporting for businesses of a certain size? […] I think we're moving to a point where most large businesses are going to be measuring food waste at a […] organizational level. And I think then it becomes pretty compelling for regulators to say, if we're already seeing most businesses doing this, […] what would what would it mean, if we were to mandate all large and medium sized food businesses to report on food waste. And I think as you start mandating reporting, you start to see system level change in that in that space.”

Rating: 💧💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 54 min | 🗓️ 03/23/2022
✅ Time saved: 51 min

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