Further processing of excess food in the supply chain: the cooperation between SPRK.global and KRONEN delivers positive results.
Since February 2022, the globally operating machine supplier KRONEN, its partner companies and the food tech company SPRK.global have been joining forces to actively support climate protection and the conservation of resources. The cooperation provides food processing companies with excess fresh and high-quality produce, thus enabling stakeholders in the supply chain to work together to reduce food waste. The processing companies benefit from reduced purchase prices for top-quality fruit and vegetables and in turn give their operations and products a more sustainable approach.
After being in place for six months, the collaboration between the food tech company SPRK.global and the world’s leading supplier of machines for the food industry, KRONEN GmbH, is delivering positive results. The start-up company SPRK.global identifies excess food that occurs along the supply chain and works to ensure that it does not go to waste. The aim of the cooperation is to use KRONEN’s comprehensive network in the food industry to redistribute fresh, high-quality produce for further processing. All the companies involved in this mission protect both resources and the climate and help establish a closed-loop circular economy for food.
The challenge is huge, as is confirmed by the report on “Closing the Food Waste Gap” by the Boston Consulting Group, which concludes that a third of the food available worldwide is wasted each year. In its study (in German), WWF claims that the majority of food waste, namely around 60 percent, occurs at the start and in the middle of the supply chain. According to SPRK, this is partly due to a lack of transparency in the supply chain. SPRK identifies excess food along the supply chain. It uses its KI-controlled digital retail and distribution platform to bring together the supply of and demand for food before quickly passing the produce on to partner companies with corresponding needs based on the information provided for redistribution or further processing.
Fresh, high-quality produce at reduced prices
As a supplier of machines for the food industry, KRONEN has been successfully operating worldwide for more than 40 years and has established a correspondingly extensive network. KRONEN customers who are involved in the cooperation, for example fresh-cut companies and convenience product manufacturers, receive the excess fresh, high-quality produce from the SPRK network, sometimes at prices that are, for instance, 10 or 20 percent below the market rate, and process it to make fresh-cut or convenience products for food retailers, hotels, or restaurants. The main focus is placed on fruit, vegetable, and salad processing. The food processing companies benefit from the good availability and fair, often reduced purchase prices of fruit and vegetables of the same high quality as standard market produce. In times of growing inflation in particular, this solution can be extremely advantageous.
Working together to reduce food waste
SPRK currently already has 80 partners – both suppliers and buyers. Since being founded in March 2020, the food tech company has already successfully redistributed more than one million kilograms of excess food from the supply chain.
According to Alexander Piutti, founder and CEO of SPRK, “eliminating excess food along the supply chain in the long term is an ambitious goal that can only actually be realized in close cooperation with all stakeholders involved in the supply chain.” With KRONEN, we have secured a strong partner and opinion maker with an outstanding network in the food industry. The company’s customers make the most of improved planning when sourcing the produce required, often benefit from a financial advantage when purchasing fruit and vegetables and are thus able to stabilize their own production activities. The extended network enables us to work together to strengthen our impact on resource conservation and climate protection.”
The cooperation, particularly the aspects involving food processing companies, helps to make the food supply chain more efficient and companies and their products more sustainable. Since the start of the collaboration, the partners have already convinced several further processing companies of the benefits of the cooperation and the quality of the produce.
Stephan Zillgith, Managing Partner of KRONEN GmbH, adds: “Solutions for reducing food waste are an important topic among our customers both with regard to conserving resources and in terms of costs. KRONEN, with its more than 40 years of experience in the fresh-cut industry and comprehensive international network, and SPRK, as a start-up at the heart of Berlin with excellent connections to the retail world and NGOs, form a perfect symbiosis to bring together all stakeholders in the food sector. This in turn enables us to minimize waste along the supply chain and ensure that consumers are provided with the best possible fresh products.”