FULL HARVEST SECURES $23 MILLION FUNDING TO REDUCE ON-FARM FOOD WASTE
Full Harvest, a business-to-business marketplace specialising in surplus and imperfect produce, has announced the close of a $23 million (€20.44m) Series B round of growth financing, which it will will use to further build its online marketplace, advance its data and market insights offerings, and triple its technology and product team in 2022.
It says that its efforts will help solve the $2.6T (€2.31T) global food waste problem (the leading contributor to climate change).
The financing was led by agtech investor TELUS Ventures, the strategic investment arm of TELUS corporation, and other investors included Rethink Impact, Citi Impact, Doon Capital, Stardust Equity and Portfolia Food & AgTech Fund, as well Spark Capital, Cultivian Sandbox, Astia Fund, Radicle Growth.
Full Harvest reduces sourcing problems and helps to minimise food waste by moving the produce supply chain online. It allowing buyers to purchase more sustainable produce, lowering food production costs, and creating an additional revenue stream for farmers. The brand works with some of the largest food and beverage companies (Danone North America, Health-Ade), processors (SVZ) and growers (Tanimura & Antle, Church Brothers, Deardorff Farms).
Tripling revenue during the first year of the pandemic due to the industry’s desperate need for more flexible, transparent supply chain solutions, Full Harvest said in a statement that it recently hit a sales milestone of more than 50 million pounds of surplus and imperfect produce sold – saving over 1B gallons of water from being wasted and over 6M kg of CO2 emissions from being created.
The world currently produces enough food to feed 9-10 billion people, but more than 40% of it goes to waste globally each year as more than half of global food waste happens before it even leaves the farm, Full Harvest says.
The company aims to help solve the farm distribution problem, by offering an easy, online option for produce buyers and sellers to quickly close deals on surplus and imperfect produce in just a few clicks – getting more produce options to buyers faster, helping farms sell more of their crop and reducing waste.
Full Harvest said it will use the investment to accelerate its push to deliver the advanced technology solutions the produce industry needs by expanding its online marketplace, further improving the user experience for both produce sellers and buyers, and substantially growing its network of national buyers and sellers. The company will also focus on expanding its industry-leading data analytics offering to answer the growing demand for insights on produce availability, pricing, specifications, sustainable offerings, quality, forecasting support, etc.
Mario Mele, vice president corporate strategy, TELUS Ventures, commented: “We are committed to leveraging the power of technology to build a safer, more efficient, and sustainable food chain; and our investment in Full Harvest aligns with that mission. With its strong leadership and mission-driven approach, combined with our growing expertise in the AgTech space, Full Harvest is well-positioned to evolve the produce market and drastically reduce food waste by leveraging data and technology to digitise what is still a very analog market. We look forward to helping the team scale the company and transform the industry to the benefit of farmers, buyers, and the environment.”
Christine Moseley, founder and CEO of Full Harvest, said: “Dedicated to empowering ‘full harvests’ with zero food waste to support a more sustainable agricultural ecosystem, we are transforming a fragmented and opaque offline produce supply chain into a flexible, transparent, reliable solution by directly connecting growers with processors and food and beverage brands online.
“With the influx of capital, we plan to build on our incredible customer successes and expand into new markets to make the global produce supply chain more efficient and sustainable.”
Surbhi Martin, Vice President Greek yoghurt and functional nutrition, Danone North America, added: “The importance of building more sustainable businesses has never been more evident, especially for those in the food and beverage space. By sourcing produce online through Full Harvest and selecting fruit for our products that would otherwise have gone to waste, we are answering the growing consumer demand for more sustainable food options.”
Verified Rescued Produce™
Building on its success with Danone and its Two Good ‘Good Save’ yogurt, Full Harvest will also use the funding to scale out the global use of its Verified Rescued Produce™, setting the highest standard for on-farm food waste reduction verification, the company said. Through the industry’s only third-party audit and verification process for rescued produce, Full Harvest provides CPG companies the expertise, network and technology needed to create new products and ensure a scalable, sustainable produce supply chain with integrity.
Jay Crone, investment director at TELUS, has joined the Full Harvest board and will work closely with the executive team to expand and optimize its marketplace and network.
Full Harvest will benefit from TELUS Agriculture’s deep understanding of the agriculture industry and comprehensive network of produce farms, CPG companies and strategic agtech partners to help speed its expansion.
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