Seeking innovative solutions to reduce food waste in Central America
Together with our partners from the #SinDesperdicio (#ZeroWaste) platform, we launched the #SinDesperdicioCentroamérica contest, which will award prizes of US $10,000 to three innovative, viable and impactful solutions that reduce food loss and waste in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala or the Dominican Republic. The call will be open for applications until September 27th, 2020.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, according to FAO data, food losses amount to 12% of total production, which is equivalent to about 220 million tons per year. Among the food groups that present the greatest losses and waste are fruits and vegetables with 55% and roots and tubers with 40%. This phenomenon occurs in a context where 42 million people suffer from severe food insecurity.
We organize this contest in coordination with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and all the partners of #SinDesperdicio, a platform of partners committed to working for a Latin America without food losses or waste: IBM, Nestlé, The Coca-Cola Company, Grupo Bimbo, OXXO, The Dow Chemical Company, FAO, the Consumer Goods Forum, The Global FoodBanking Network and the World Resources Institute. The contest has the support of MICITT, the CRUSA Foundation, AUGE, the Costa Rican Network for the Reduction of Food Loss and Waste coordinated by the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, the ALIARSE Foundation, XYZ Imagine and Socialab.
Meet the winning projects of #SinDesperdicioMéxico.
“Food loss and waste have large-scale economic, nutritional and environmental impacts. By reducing or avoiding them, we promote the efficient use of resources such as water, energy, land and labor in their production. With the #SinDesperdicio platform, we seek to promote innovation in Latin America, to generate in-depth solutions to the challenges we face as a society,” said Carlos Hurtado, our Sustainable Development Manager.
Technological and social innovation can be part of the solution to this enormous challenge facing the region. We launched this contest with the aim of identifying innovative solutions, in the prototype phase or already proven in the market, that are helping to reduce food losses and waste in the food production and supply chain in Central America and the Dominican Republic, addressing the impacts and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The solutions can be technological, financial or related to processes. Between 10 and 15 finalists will be selected, who will participate in a virtual bootcamp and will be considered to participate in the Program for the Promotion of Dynamic Entrepreneurship developed by the University Agency for Entrepreneurship Management of the University of Costa Rica (AUGE-UCR). Three winners will be chosen who will receive a prize worth US $10,000 each and the opportunity to participate in a pre-acceleration program. The winning projects could also be considered for a pilot project financed by IDB Lab.
Applications can be made through the website sindesperdicio.net/concursos/centroamerica, where the complete description of the contest can be found. This is the third innovation contest promoted within the framework of this platform, after the implementation in Argentina in 2019 and in Mexico in 2020.