Technology has grown leaps and bounds over the years. Every day there is a new development taking place in this sphere. Andif there is someone using it to better the life of others, it is Sanjeev Neve, the founder of Samvad Social Technologies, a techno-social startup. Together with his team, he has created a zero food wastage application called Food Dosti, which aims to minimise food wastage by connecting restaurants to non-profit organisations or NGOs in the city.
This app is also designed in such a way that customers too can do their bit to not waste food. “The idea is that a customer will be rewarded every time he/she doesn’t waste food. The rewards can be in the form of discount offers and can be redeemed at any Food Dosti restaurant. We also have another concept known as the portion saver. You can order only a part of the dish, pay the restaurant fully but get Food Dosti points credited for the portion you’ve saved. We want to try to minimise wastage at the source,” explains Neve.
Once the restaurants are left with surplus food, they notify the NGOs on the app as to how many packets of food are available per person. The NGOs then put an offer on how much food they need. Once the offer is accepted, the NGO goes to collect the food from the restaurant. Neve elaborates on this process, “We have created a sort of a ticketing system. If the restaurant has surplus food for about 10 people, it sends out a broadcast on the app. The NGOs then reserve how much food they need and pick it up once the restaurant approves.”
Many restaurants are involved in discussions to get on board Food Dosti, but how will they ensure that the quality of food is maintained?
“There is an agreement that the restaurant signs before it becomes a part of this. It states that all the food that they are willing to give out as surplus will be fresh and in good condition. Secondly, we also have an agreement with the NGOs wherein they will pick up only food which is not stale or spoilt in any manner,” Neve clarifies. He also adds that if NGOs receive repeated complaints about a restaurant giving stale food then their contract with Food Dosti will be terminated without any refunds. Similarly, if restaurants report the repeated failure of NGO to collect the food on time, then the NGOs will be removed.
Before all of this, Neve worked in the IT sector for around 20 years. He is also a part time agriculturalist and owns a farm. “My farm is about seven acres and around 70 kilometres from Pune. I practise sustainable farming and we are trying to grow everything organically. There are plantations of native trees like jamun and mango,” says Neve.
He has always wanted to develop something that will help reduce food wastage. Once the app picks up in Pune, Neve plans to expand to other cities in India and hopefully make it a pan India initiative.
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