Mumbai: DBS Bank India announced its partnership with Social Alpha, a popular innovation curation and venture development platform for tech start-ups, to address the global issue of food waste through sustainable solutions. The partnership furthers DBS’ commitment to supporting entrepreneurial efforts toward addressing productivity and supply chain efficiency issues, leading to food waste and value erosion in the food and Agri sector.
Nearly 40 per cent of food produced in India is lost before it reaches the markets and further wasted at the retailer level, which decreases the nutritional security and causes income losses for farmers. Moreover, an estimated 50 kg per capita of household food waste is recorded, totalling 68M tonnes a year.
Techtonic Innovations Towards Zero Food Waste, presented by DBS and powered by Social Alpha, is a two-year program that identifies innovative and scalable solutions by entrepreneurs to help reduce quantitative and qualitative food loss and waste across food systems and agri-food value chains. Under this engagement, selected start-ups will receive grant support to develop their product and marketing strategy, receive branding support, access to grassroots partnerships, and pitch for seed capital. Social enterprises seeking more information and willing to apply can visit https://www.socialalpha.org/techtonic-innovations-towards-zero-food-waste/
Commenting on the partnership, Shoma Narayanan, Managing Director – Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank India, said, “About one-third of the world’s food is lost or wasted each year. This is enough to feed three billion people. DBS is committed to changing the way food production and consumption is viewed, and our partnership with Social Alpha is a significant step towards addressing the problem of food waste through sustainable solutions.”
Innovations along the entire food value chain are necessary to reduce food loss and food waste, thereby positively impacting livelihood, economy, and climate. Supporting socially impactful innovations with investment can significantly drive change towards creating a better future.
Nikhita Nadkarni, Director and Principal, Livelihoods & Prosperity at Social Alpha, said, “The post-harvest infrastructure currently available for smallholder farmers is insufficient and inaccessible, leading to massive food waste and income loss for farmers. We believe that there is an opportunity to solve this problem through technological innovations and entrepreneurship. We are excited about our partnerships with DBS Bank in accelerating the efforts toward zero food waste. Through the Techtonic, DBS and Social Alpha will scout for 5 high-impact, mission-driven start-ups and provide them venture acceleration support to reach scale and create impact.”
DBS works with clients to provide financing solutions to support sustainable supply chains in the Agri sector, reducing wastage for suppliers and processors. It recently partnered with Stellapps, a tech start-up, to provide farmers with access to finance for the digitisation of small dairies across India.
Towards Zero Food Waste (TZFW)
DBS believes that businesses have a role to play in helping to find solutions to challenges such as food waste. As part of the bank’s commitment to a sustainable and climate-resilient future, they initiated a regional movement in 2020 to galvanise multiple stakeholders into action towards zero food waste, thereby creating collective impact. This DBS-led initiative has generated more than 600,000 kg of food impact across Asia (such as reduced food waste and recycled or food redistributed) as of 2021.
DBS’ approach to the TZFW initiative aligns with DBS’ three sustainability pillars, Responsible Banking, Responsible Business Practices, and Creating Social Impact, whereby they aim to encourage a shift in behaviours and mindsets to reduce food waste by (1) advocating and building public awareness of the issue (2) engaging employees and reducing food waste in business operations; and (3) partnering ecosystem partners to scale impact.
Find out more about how you can create an impact in your daily lives. Together, we can Live more, Waste less for a better world!
*As per a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations