Photo (ResQ Club) - Mobile app to save food
More than 15,000 tonnes of food is being wasted every day in Malaysia alone, according to Tuure Parkkinen, co-founder and chief executive officer of Finland-based environmental solutions startup ResQ Club.
Wasted food has a huge environmental impact, including a large contribution to climate change and the destruction of irreplaceable biodiversity, said Parkkinen.
Apparently, 3,000 tonnes of this is edible, he told Computerworld Malaysia as a precursor to a 'rapidfire' interview.
"Yes, we all speak of saving food for the good cause of reducing food wastage, but how many of us actually act upon it?" he said.
ResQ Club is a Finnish startup, with presence in more than 22 European cities, and the company has eyed Malaysia with a solution to some of its daily food wastage.
Available on mobiles (iOS and Android), tablets and desktops, ResQ allows you to rescue fresh and good quality food that otherwise would find itself in the dumpster, said Parkkinen.
'Rampant food wastage'
Joanne Chia, country manager, ResQ Club Malaysia, said, "The restaurants are able to gain an additional side income from food that might otherwise have been discarded."
"Since packaging is the only cost involved, this can be a significant addition to their often slim margins. Restaurants also attract new customers to discover their eateries, whilst actively participating for a great cause; the fight against rampant food wastage," Chia adding that with more than 30 restaurants on-board, users get to purchase these surplus portions at a much cheaper cost.
Photo - Tuure Parkkinen, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ResQ Club.
To kick off the rapidfire interview, Computerworld Malaysia asked Parkkinen why Malaysia has been 'targeted' at this time.
Parkkinen: The Malaysian market is a fast developing one with a very versatile base of food service providers. Also concerns about food waste and consciousness of environmental threats seem to be on the rise among the population. We conducted market research, and the results were promising! There was a lot of interest towards our service on both sides of the market in Kuala Lumpur.
How much food will be saved and who will benefit?
We are currently ResQ-ing more than 400 portions per day in Helsinki, 10 months after our launch. We expect the long-term potential to be at least three times that in KL. We're hoping to have ResQ-d more than 100,000 portions of food in Malaysia alone before the end of 2017. In getting otherwise wasted resources to good use, all participants benefit!
Our partner venues save on costs, and the local low-and-middle-income population saves both time and money. Also, less of the environmental impacts of food production will have been in vain, and less food ends up as waste that produces climate-change-enhancing methane in landfills.
What are the environmental benefits?
It's great to see how many parties globally want to work together to find new, innovative solutions to unnecessary waste. We constantly develop our platform to yet better fit our partners' and member's needs.
However, we're quite proud of how far we've gotten our apps and web interfaces already. Food production and the methane released from rotting, wasted food have a huge environmental impact, including a large contribution to climate change and the destruction of irreplaceable biodiversity.
Moreover, this quality food, thrown away unnecessarily, would have the potential to rescue many people's dinners and busy afternoons - if we just got the right information to the right people at the right time.
ResQ Club offers a kind of 'crystal ball' letting you see these otherwise wasted resources, just around the corner. And snatching these great deals can be fun, too.
What's the next for the company in Malaysia?
For now, we will focus on expanding our base of food provider partners in KL in order to get more good food to good use and to make the service yet more interesting and food rescuing yet more exciting for our club members.
We're of course also constantly looking out for new partners with whom we can apply our flexible platform for reducing food waste in other parts of the supply chain - by getting the right information to the right people at the right time.
Perfect fit for Malaysian market
During the recent launch announcement in Kuala Lumpur, ResQ Club said that users "receive real-time notifications of the participating restaurants' daily surplus meals and treats according to their own diet settings and other preferences. Users can e.g. set the maximum distance and tag their favourite venues. The heavily discounted portions can be purchased directly in the app. The user then collects the food from the outlet, for example on their way home from work."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.