Blogs that do not fit into any other category, but are still related to the food system and/or reducing food loss/waste.

OneThird reached the finals of the Rabobank Sustainable Innovation Awards in the category circular entrepreneurship! The jury valued the positive impact on reducing food waste. Especially, since the solution affects the whole supply chain from grower to retailer.

OneThird reached the Chamber of Commerce top 100 list of most innovative companies. The regional radio show 1Twente Enschede invited us to tell  more about our food waste preventing solution. On top of that, a live demo was given to inspect ripeness levels in avocados! Check out the video above via YouTube. Our international guests can turn on the automated English subtitles.

OneThird has been selected for the EIT Food’s RisingFoodStars Association together with another 15 European agtech and foodtech impactful scaleups. Being part of the network, OneThird will receive guidance and support from already established industry leaders. Being part of the EIT community also enables us to expand our view and access to scaling up, internationalisation and investments. The end goal would be achieving a better, sustainable and healthier food value chain.

Read the full article on the EIT website here.

The Dutch national TV show EditieNL came by to talk about how OneThird can help to avoid us squeezing avocados. Predicting the internal quality (ripeness/freshness) of avocados using near-infrared cameras or scanners. Thanks for dropping by!

Enschede, April 2021 – The Dutch Food Tech company OneThird raises funding of 1.5 million euro from investors SHIFT Invest and Oost NL. The equity raised will be used to accelerate the development of OneThird’s fresh produce quality prediction platform and expand pilots with retail customers. The company also expands its technical team through the acquisition of AI specialist firm Impact Analytics, adding additional expertise in (spectral) imaging and analysis. OneThird will run their operations from Kennispark Twente.

Reducing food waste

The United Nations identify food waste as one of the major sustainability challenges and address it with the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. One third of food is currently wasted, and the urgent call for action is to halve this by 2030. Major retailers and their supply chain partners have teamed up in the coalition called Champions 12.3 dedicated to inspire ambition and action to achieve this goal.

The logistics behind getting fresh produce from the grower to the retailer is complex, especially as quality varies with seasons and environmental conditions like the weather. With OneThird’s technology, quality inspectors can ‘look inside’ fresh produce in a nondestructive manner using Near-Infrared sensors, and inspect many products in a matter of seconds. Combining this data with smartphone images of these products and other relevant environmental data, artificial intelligence algorithms accurately determine both internal and external quality and provide key information such as remaining shelf life and taste.

“Our unique prediction technology allows quality inspectors throughout the food supply chain to get immediate feedback about shelf life and other quality parameters of fresh produce and take better decisions.” explains Marco Snikkers, founder of OneThird. Lack of accurate fresh produce shelf life information is resulting in unnecessary surprises in the supply chain and negative experiences for consumers. Marco Snikkers continues: “Our system can enable dynamic routing and pricing and helps to prevent food waste, optimize fresh produce logistics and improve the quality of fresh produce for consumers.”

Funding

OneThird started as a digital innovation project of Ocean Insight, a Halma company. Halma, the FTSE 100 global group of life-saving technology companies, funded the pre-seed stage of OneThird as it validated its technology with key customers. It was spun-out in 2020 providing access to new partners to further accelerate its growth.

 

“We are excited to support OneThird’s team and are convinced they are well positioned to have a large positive impact on the food value chain. OneThird focusses on providing actionable information, using parameters which really matter to their customers.” says Koen Hooning, Investment Manager at SHIFT Invest. “As an Impact-driven venture capital fund we can clearly see how OneThird can help their customers in meeting food waste reduction targets.”

Chimwemwe de Gaay Fortman of Oost NL comments: “OneThird’s solution to prevent food waste fits well to our goals in the East Netherlands: to invest in companies that use technologies to enable major breakthroughs in global challenges. We have a great high-tech ecosystem around the University of Twente. Wageningen University & Research is one of the largest institutes focusing on agriculture and food. OneThird is already actively working together with these institutes, so we are very happy to see they decided to setup their facility in Enschede”.

 

 

About OneThird

OneThird helps to prevent food waste through data-driven quality prediction of fresh produce. Our vision is to build a platform for objective quality assessment to enable smart decision-making across the supply chain. The people behind OneThird have years of experience in spectroscopy, imaging and algorithms & software development. OneThird is based in Enschede, the Netherlands.

 

About SHIFT Invest

SHIFT Invest (www.shiftinvest.com) is a Dutch venture capital fund that invests in innovations in food & agriculture, clean (bio-based) technologies, circularity and smart materials. Through its investments, SHIFT strives to create environmental impact alongside financial return. Together with the fund partners, SHIFT offers entrepreneurs a broad network and knowledge of the sector. SHIFT is managed by New Balance Impact Investors (NBI), an experienced team of investment professionals and entrepreneurs. NBI manages five venture capital funds, backed by strong and involved partners that share their mission of turning investments into impact.

 

About Oost NL

Oost NL (East Netherlands Development Agency) is an agency that focuses its activities and projects on strengthening and stimulating the economy of the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, the Netherlands. With our investments we support starting and growth-phase SMEs. We do this partly with risk capital from various revolving innovation funds, and partly through our knowledge, networks and personal contacts. Through the revolving funds we provide for direct as well as indirect investment and take care of the fund management. In addition, we stimulate and support public and private investors. The result: growth through financing. www.oostnl.nl

 

About Halma PLC

Halma is a FTSE 100 global group of life-saving technology companies, focused on growing a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Its purpose defines the three broad market areas where it operates:

  • Safety: protecting life as populations grow and protecting worker safety.
  • Environment: improving food and water quality, and monitoring air pollution.
  • Health: meeting rising healthcare demand as growing populations age and lifestyles change.

It employs over 7,000 people in more than 20 countries, with major operations in the UK, Mainland Europe, the USA and Asia Pacific. In January 2021, Halma was named Britain’s Most Admired Company by Management Today.

 

onethird food waste prevention

Each year, about 200 million pounds of Thanksgiving turkey turns to food waste. Meanwhile, this year, we are seeing extraordinary circumstances. Feeding America reports that 50 million people faced food insecurity this year. The lines for food banks are miles and hours long this holiday season. So, how can we show thanks while reducing Thanksgiving food waste in our own homes?

Ideas for Limiting Thanksgiving Food Waste

1. Plan your meal

Before shopping, make sure you have a grocery list for only the things you need. Take stock of what you already have in your kitchen, and only buy what you need from the store. Think about portion sizes and consider how many people you will be serving, as well as how long you really want to be eating leftovers.

2. Save scraps and leftovers for future use

While cooking, set aside scraps for future meals. Freeze vegetable peelings and meat trimmings for broths and soups. Make chips from potato peelings (or skip peeling your veggies all together). Sauté and caramelize extra chopped onions.

Store leftovers in marked containers. That way, you’ll know what you have and how long you’ve had it, making it more likely that you’ll eat it before it actually does need to be pitched. Having guests? Ask them to take home goodie-bags with their favorites from the night. Or, drop meals off for any neighbors that might benefit from a warm meal.

Faced with a true plethora of leftovers? Get creative! Find recipes suggesting new ways to use what you already have. Extra bread rolls? Bread pudding. Leftover turkey? Try homemade turkey stock (yes, with the bones). The same goes for staple ingredients, like green beans or sweet potatoes: take the time to learn more about it, and try something new!

Still plenty to go around? Let your pets in on the Thanksgiving love. Toss together your pet-friendly leftovers (turkey meat, sweet potatoes, green beans) with some brown rice, and let your furry friends enjoy.

3. Donate

As mentioned, far too many people are hungry this year and this holiday season. If you have canned or otherwise packaged leftovers that you absolutely won’t get to, consider donating those goods to a local shelter or food bank. OneThird has compiled an interactive map to help you find a food bank near you.

More on Food Insecurity

4. Compost

As a last resort, compost your food once it truly can’t be salvaged as edible. Composting helps make our food system a closed system, as opposed to tossing it into the landfill, where it doesn’t do any good. In other words, when we compost our leftovers, it goes right back into our food system, helping to more efficiently nourish the next harvest. Look into local community compost or compost collection/drop-off opportunities, or start your own compost in your kitchen or yard space.

 

Happy Thanksgiving from the OneThird Team!

onethird food waste prevention

 

World Food Day 2020 is October 16th, and 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

What is World Food Day?

On World Food Day 2020, governments, businesses, NGOs, the media, and the general public across 150 countries will take collective action. It’s a day for everyone to come together and promote global awareness of those who suffer from hunger.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations points out a few key facts:

  • 14% of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted between the stages where it is grown or raised to when it reaches the wholesale market.
  • More than 2 billion people are food insecure and nearly 690 million people are hungry – up 10 million since 2019. Additionally, The COVID-19 pandemic could add another 83-132 million people to this statistic, depending on economic growth and recovery.

Future food systems will have to address these and other issues. To that end, together, we as individuals and businesses have to consider what we can do to take action. So, how will we ensure that everyone has access to affordable and healthy diets? Moreover, how will we work to guarantee decent livelihoods for food system workers? And how will we preserve natural resources and biodiversity while tackling the issue of climate change?

What You Can Do

As consumers, individuals have the power to make a difference. Our purchases influence what suppliers, farmers, and growers produce. So, making the right choices leads to a more sustainable food system.

To that end, the FAO offers several suggestions, including choosing to buy seasonal and local grocery items, or even growing food at home!

OneThird also recommends donating food that would otherwise be tossed. This simple action will help feed members of your own community while preventing food waste in your home.

 

Resources For Preventing Food Waste at Home

For World Food Day 2020, consider growing food at home!

 

Is your business part of the food system or food supply chain? Look no further for ways to prevent food loss and boost your company’s sustainability efforts.

 

Resources For Preventing Food Loss in the Supply Chain

 

OneThird’s Mission and World Food Day

OneThird is a part of Friends of Champions 12.3, a group focused on achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

To do our part, we provide the fresh produce supply chain with solutions that enable retailers, distributors, and growers to better assess the quality of produce and optimize its routing, thus maximizing efficiency. To learn more about how OneThird can help your business, contact us, or email us directly at info@onethird.io.

onethird food waste prevention

tyler scheviak onethird

tyler scheviak onethird

Tyler Scheviak joined us as part of his Halma Future Leaders Program, where he spends six months at each of four different Halma companies.

This Q&A is a reflection of his six months here and the work he contributed to our mission.

What’s your role at OneThird?

I acted as Marketing and Business Development Manager for OneThird. I reached out to hundreds of stakeholders in the food system to understand the issues we are facing and how to best tackle them.

Through these conversations, I gained an understanding of problems at each stage of the value chain and determined how shelf life prediction can help.

I also started our content marketing strategy so that we can educate people on preventing food waste from our unique perspective.

What’s your career background?

I started in the Halma Future Leaders Program after graduating with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from NC State University.

I’ve now been at Halma for two years, but I’ve worked at four companies in four different industries and in four different roles in that time. From developing an ophthalmic device in Switzerland to leading a team of seven on a shop floor in Northern UK, I’ve had quite a diverse experience.

Why were you drawn to working at OneThird?

I have always wanted to tangibly improve the lives of those around me, and I used to think that creating medical devices was the only way to do that.

However, I learned that there are other pressing issues society faces- one of which is climate change and the horrible consequences of it.

OneThird has a direct relation to combatting climate change because food waste accounts for 8% of the global carbon emissions! If we can prevent food waste then we can create a more habitable planet for the future.

Working with other people in the sustainability field has been rewarding because everyone is after the same goal. People are more likely to help you and will give you more energy than in many other industries.

What has surprised you most from working in this role?

I was shocked when I learned how big of an issue food waste actually was. My wallet certainly wasn’t happy when I wasted food, but the global cost is larger than I ever imagined.

The infographic below reflects this.

the cost of food waste

 

I also had no clue what the environmental effects were. It’s shocking to see how much processing and labor we spend on food that’s sitting in landfills. We are wasting all of the work that was put into growing that food, not just the food itself.

food waste iceberg

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

At OneThird, I was really proud to have increased our organic traffic by over 1,400% with my content marketing strategy. Knowing that we are educating that many more people on how to prevent food loss/waste is a satisfying feeling for sure.

My proudest accomplishment in my life is overcoming my fear of flying to travel to 17 countries over the last two years. Getting out of my comfort zone has led me to some amazing opportunities and introduced me to lifelong friends.

What do you think it will take to halve global food loss and waste by 2030?

I think everyone has to be aware of the issues food waste causes and how they contribute to them. The majority of people in America throw out food without thinking twice about it. It’s so easy to just throw away your food and never see it sitting in a landfill producing greenhouse gases. Once I learned about the damaging effects of food waste I drastically cut the amount of food I put into the trash.

We don’t have the most difficult task in front of us either. It just takes a bit of education and self-awareness.

Americans waste about half of all the fresh produce they buy. So you could throw out ~only~ 1 out of every 4 apples and still be halving your food waste.

How hard is that?

Let’s say it’s 2050 and stakeholders in the food system have all taken the right steps- what does that look like?

Every fruit and vegetable has a designated journey from the moment it is harvested. If it will last a long time then it can go to a further location, and vice-versa. Shelf life extension methods are so advanced that produce can last months without being eaten or even refrigerated. People won’t care so much about the aesthetics because they will pay for the quality they receive (dynamic pricing). Every food scrap has an alternative use so that the resources spent growing are not wasted.

What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?

I’m really big into photography and hiking. My photos have been shared by National Geographic Traveller UK 3 times! Here’s one of my favorites of myself.

I also like to tinker with app development to solve day-to-day issues that others and I face.

What’s one thing you wish everyone would do or at least consider doing?

Keep track of the food you throw away on a small notepad. By doing this, you will realize how much you throw away and the reasons you didn’t eat it on time. This will make the issue seem more real and help you think of ways of preventing that waste the next time.

 

niek kolner lab technician

niek kolner lab technician

Niek Kolner is a dedicated lab technician for OneThird.

We sat down with him to learn more about his background and motivations.

What’s your role at OneThird?

I’m responsible for analyzing fresh produce daily and developing new analysis techniques. I provide the data input for our data scientists to create their algorithms that predict shelf life.

What’s your career background?

I studied Biology & Medical Laboratory Research. After this, I worked in medical diagnostics as an analyst in molecular microbiology.

Why were you drawn to working at OneThird?

I’ve always been intrigued by collecting and analyzing data to make a change in the world. I had never had a role outside of human health research, but since working here I can see how we are benefiting humans and the planet.

What has surprised you most from working in this role?

Seeing how much food is wasted is shocking to me. Much of this issue is preventable, so it came as quite a surprise to me.

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

Having new analysis techniques I developed used to determine the end of life in produce.

Let’s say it’s 2050 and companies in the food system have all taken the right steps- what does that look like?

People value their food more. If food was more expensive then people would waste less of it. It’s important to make people realize the impact of throwing their food away.

Produce will be grown and sold locally. It doesn’t make sense to me that beef and poultry raised in The Netherlands is being exported, but also imported from Canada and Ukraine. We also receive tomatoes from Spain and strawberries from Egypt, while The Netherlands is one of the largest producers of these in the world.

Fruits and vegetables should also be grown and sold seasonally. Importing strawberries from Egypt because they are out of season in the Netherlands makes no sense to me. It is much more sustainable to just eat what’s grown locally during any season.

What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?

I’m a big fan of sports and like to stay active. I’m also a big fan of cooking.

I am more aware of reducing my food waste impact when cooking, and it has been interesting to see how I can turn my leftovers into new recipes.

What’s one thing you wish everyone would do or at least consider doing?

People should do more research on what they’re eating and eat less processed food.

remco horstink of onethird

The OneThird team works hard to bring our shelf life prediction technology to the world.

We sat down with Remco Horstink, our bright R&D engineer, to learn more about him.

What’s your role at OneThird?

My role at OneThird is diverse and depends on what we need most at any given time.

I help improve the quality of shelf life prediction. This includes performing various tests on the current hardware and on promising new hardware, as well as building and designing new measurement setups.

Every now and then I help to program our measurement software and do data analysis.

 

What’s your career background?

I just graduated with a degree in Applied Physics from Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede, The Netherlands.

Funnily enough, I worked at a distribution center of one of the biggest supermarkets in The Netherlands as an order picker in 2016. This helps me in my current role at OneThird because I have an understanding of operations at distribution centers.

I also interned at Radiotherapiegroep Arnhem, a radiotherapy institute at the Rijnstate hospital. Here I worked on a trend analysis website, programmed in Python, to provide them with important data.

I joined OneThird almost a year ago as an intern and have since become an R&D engineer.

 

Why were you drawn to working at OneThird?

I discovered OneThird through one of my teachers and was instantly drawn to it because of the way physics and the optics are applied in a way that has not been done before in the food industry. 

It’s rewarding to use my knowledge in applied physics to fight food waste, which the world crucially needs.

 

What has surprised you most from working in this role?

What surprised me most when working in this role is the diversity of the work, as well as the workflow speed. Because we are a startup, developments happen very fast, and everyone’s tasks often change based on those developments.

Everything we do is focused on solving customer needs and it never gets boring. 

 

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

I was able to successfully analyze strawberries through an imaging setup that I assembled myself. It’s a great feeling to see my work directly helping a customer and knowing that I played a large role in making it happen.

An example from this setup is below.

hyperspectral strawberry imaging

What do you think it will take to halve global food loss and waste by 2030?

People will have to make a much greater effort towards reducing waste at home. If all meals were prepared in a controlled environment, where all leftovers and discarded produce were reused, there wouldn’t have to be any consumer food waste.

However, since many people like cooking, people must be educated and take steps to reduce food waste.

 

Let’s say it’s 2050 and stakeholders in the food system have all taken the right steps- what does that look like?

Food only gets discarded when it’s actually not edible or not sellable anymore, instead of when it “could be not edible”. This means all companies have a robust way of checking whether food is still edible or not, instead of relying on an inaccurate “best by” date. Discarded food gets reused in some way so nothing is lost, for instance for biofuel or animal food.

Also, people that don’t like to cook can buy long-lasting food packets with all components the body needs. They can eat these packets and cause no food waste at all (and since they’re storable for a longer duration, these packets are also handy for travelers).

Finally, everyone has solar panels to convert sunlight into energy for their home. Everyone will also convert their leftovers into biofuel using solar energy to power an at-home pressure cooker system.

 

What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?

I like playing the piano. I started when I was about 8 years old, so I’ve been playing for many years now. I also like riding my motorcycle.

 

What’s one thing you wish everyone would do or at least consider doing?

Save your leftovers. Also, don’t fill your entire plate with food if you’re not sure you can eat it all. You can always get more from the pan later, or if not, save what’s left inside the pan for later.