Smart Tracking to Reduce Food Waste


Category: Waste

1) Problem: Huge quantities of food are wasted before they even make it to grocery stores. “Wasting food is not only an inefficient use of ecosystem services [like water] and of the fossil-fuel based resources that go into producing them, but also a significant contributor to global warming. In the USA, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which are the largest source of methane emissions” – UNEP

2) Summary 

Technology Can Help Reduce Food Waste. Forbes.

Company website.

  • Intelleflex, a California-based company, uses a system with RFID tags and a cellular reader with a GPS device to help identify produce that might not be getting moved quickly enough.
  • Tags record temperature and time data that is immediately sent to a cloud-based network.
  • Allows companies to better manage reduce and gauge the shelf-life of food – “Tomatoes sitting in the sun on the runway for hours should be sold before those that sat inside the cool airport before being loaded onto the plane.”
  • The tags are reusable and cost less than $1 per use or less, and will better insure that produce worth hundreds of dollars reaches consumers in time.
  • System does not require expensive software to run and makes the data available to producers via the cloud.

3) Stakeholders

  • Intelleflex
  • Growers
  • Distributors
  • Consumers
  • Grocers
  • NGOs
  • Waste managers

4) Deployment

  • Collect data on most wasteful regions/sectors/companies
  • Work with governments in large farming communities to incentivize the use of this technology amongst most wasteful constituents
  • Analyze effectiveness and make any improvements
  • Expand use of technology

One thought on “Smart Tracking to Reduce Food Waste

  1. This technology is great because its utilizing an existing systems, RFID tags, that most food manufactures already use but allowing them to harness more data from them. I think this technology has the potential to reduce food waste but also make the overall US food system more efficient.


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