Lots of Food Waste, This Millennial Creates a Surplus.id Startup
Surplus.id was officially introduced in Indonesia earlier this year. This marketplace under the auspices of PT Ekonomi Sirkular Indonesia focuses on food loss and waste or lost and wasted food. As is known, Indonesia is listed as the second-largest country, after Saudi Arabia, which produces food waste.
In several regions in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, it produces around 4,000 tons of food waste per day (BPS, 2015). Research results show that 35% of restaurants in Jakarta throw away excess unsold food at the end of the day with an average of 2-3 kilograms/day/restaurant (Aksamala foundation, 2016).
Meanwhile, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it is estimated that in one year as many as 13 million tons of food is wasted. This figure can actually meet the food needs of 28 million people living in poverty in the country.
Departing from these sad conditions and facts, Muhammad Agung Saputra, an alumnus of Imperial College London, England, and the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) were moved to offer a solution to change people’s bad habits of throwing food away when many people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition.
He made this digital platform (app) with its tagline (Save food. Save budget. Save planet) to connect customers with food stores that have excess food that will be discarded if it hasn’t been sold at the end of the day with a minimum discount of 50%.
Every Food Saved Contributes to Fight Food-waste
If there is a food store that will close at 10:00 at night, then approaching 9:00 at night they can upload excess food information to surplus.id. The method is the same as uploading photos on Instagram, uploading photos, filling in descriptions, and taking hours.
Then consumers seeing the photos that have been uploaded can immediately book and pay with OVO before taking the food at the merchant or vendor concerned. Pickups can also take advantage of the gosend/grab express, but there is an additional fee because surplus.id is not affiliated with the ride-hailing startup.
“Discount 50 percent and this must be sold at half price. Consumers are aware,” said Agung in Jakarta (12/3/2020). According to him, merchants can get more customers who see their advertisements and can become new customers.
Second, get an additional income rather than being thrown away, it’s better to sell it again. Third, they can reduce disposal costs. Finally, they can contribute to being a green restaurant, where green restaurants are now rife so they can get these 4 benefits right away.
As for users, he said, they can save budget because they can buy food 50 percent cheaper. Second, users can save the environment by contributing to reducing methane and CO2 gas produced from food waste from every food saved.
“Besides having an impact on the environment, food loss and waste can affect the level of food security in a country and have an impact on the distribution of social welfare,” Agung concluded.
The Reason for the Establishment of Surplus.Id
Surplus.id CEO Muhammad Agung Saputra explained the reasons for the formation of Surplus Indonesia. He said, the rampant food waste in the country was the main factor for him and his colleagues to form a Green Startup which is engaged in the environmental and Food & Beverage sectors.
Agung said, the initial idea emerged when he received education in the concentration of environmental policy. During his education, he learned that Indonesia was well-known for its poor ranking, such as the second-largest producer of food waste in the world or the largest pollutant for plastic waste in the world.
“So I took the initiative, I created a community, so I looked for some friends and relations who have the same vision and mission to form a Surplus,” said Agung in the Food Heroes Day webinar, Saturday (31/10/2020).
He added that Surplus.id was formed by combining sustainability with technology so that it could produce a platform that aims to reduce excess food and potentially waste from its source in business actors.