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Surplus Application: Overcoming Food Loss & Food Waste

Updated: Mar 12



People consume food and drink every day. However, good and correct consumption behaviour patterns have not really been implemented. This is evident from the composition of waste in Indonesia where 40.29% of waste is food waste.

 

It seems that the habit of throwing away or leaving food behind is still often done and is not considered an important matter for most people. Surplus uneaten food becomes waste and becomes a serious problem that we have to face because it can cause a lot of problems, one of which is to the environment.

 

Food waste usually comes from leftover food, intentionally thrown away or just left uneaten. One source of food waste that needs to be seriously considered comes from food waste in restaurants and hotels, where one type of serving service that is often used is buffet or self-service. This serving practice provides all the dishes neatly arranged and consumers can choose their own menus in portions according to taste.

 

However, this type of service is also the biggest contributor to the large amount of food waste resulting from food loss and food waste actions.

 

According to a study from BAPPENAS released in 2021, 23 – 48 million tonnes of food is wasted per year. Economic losses due to this are estimated at IDR 213 - 551 trillion/year. This caught the attention of several parties who decided to take action.

 

What is Indonesian SURPLUS?

 

Indonesia's Surplus is a tech startup climate and a social enterprise. SURPLUS focuses on overcoming the problem of food waste (food waste and food loss) in Indonesia. The way they do this is by connecting business actors such as restaurants, cafes, hotels and MSMEs who have excess products, but still in safe and suitable condition, to consumers. These products will then be sold at half price to buyers at certain hours.

 

The Surplus Application is a solution created by the nation's youth to overcome food loss and food waste. With this application, hotels and restaurants can sell the food they cannot serve, but at cheaper prices. The food sold is excess food from the dishes served by the food provider. Of course the food sold is still of good quality. So, through this application consumers also get the benefit of enjoying food from restaurants or other food providers at cheaper prices.

 

There are several types of products that they help sell. First, excess products (overstock), then goods suitable for consumption but not perfect for supermarket display standards (imperfect). Third, goods that are nearing their expiration date. In the retail industry, these products will be withdrawn and a return process will be carried out three months before they expire. That's what they believe is the biggest contributor to food waste because it is actually perfectly good food but it will be thrown away because it doesn’t look perfect. So far there are no regulations to handle it.


History of SURPLUS

 

This is the personal story  of the founder Muhammad Agung Saputra who spent 10 years as a child in Jayapura, Papua.

“ The biggest difference between Java and Papua besides education is food scarcity. I realized this when I migrated to Java to continue my studies at high school. From what I saw when I went to shops, supermarkets and malls, the supply of products in Java is very abundant and even tends to be excessive. The items in the window looked still full even before the shop closed. This is different from what I witnessed in Papua.”

 

“From there I saw the potential for food vulnerability. Threats to food security will increase as the human population increases if it is not accompanied by changes in our behaviour in managing food. Food scarcity will occur which will then trigger poverty, stunting, crime and so on. That's a personal reason for the differences I saw and experienced while living in Papua and Java. In Papua, we really ate only what was available at that time.”

 

“Therefore, I tried to think about how to create a win-win solution. The hope at that time was that entrepreneurs will not suffer losses (due to excess stock), consumers will be aware of saving the environment, and Bantar Gebang (the Jakarta land-fill dump) will not become increasingly full of organic waste which had already reached 60% of its total composition.”

 

“Initially, I started on my own by creating a small community in February 2020. At that time, our community spoke out against food waste at car free day  which at that time was held every Sunday along Thamrin-Sudirman Jakarta. After that the pandemic came. This actually validates the Surplus business idea. When PSBB and PPKM (mobility restrictions due to covid) took place, entrepreneurs were asked to operate during limited hours, resulting in more and more overstock.”

 

“Throughout 2020, we entered the ideation stage in the form of research and design regarding what kind of application we wanted to create. We only really launched the Surplus application to the public in mid-2021. After approximately 1.5 years of operation, we have succeeded in collaborating with more than 2500 partners and have attracted around 100 thousand active users of this application. Surplus partners and consumers are spread across 11 cities, namely Jakarta, Bogor, Depok Tangerang, Bekasi, Solo, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Malang and Bali.

 

Facts about SURPLUS

 

1.Surplus creates a 'zero food waste' environment

 

SURPLUS realizes that imperfect food is still suitable for consumption, and should not just be thrown away. These foods can actually still be sold to customers.

 

2. Customers get cheap prices, restaurants and hotels also get additional profits

 

Customers can enjoy these foods at a 50 percent discount every day, without conditions. Orders via this application also have the potential to bring in new customers for the restaurant or hotel.

 

3. The application can be used on Android and iOS

 

You can download Surplus on the App Store for users with the iOS operating system, and the Play Store for Android users. After the installation process is complete, you can use this application called 'food rescue'.

 


How to use the SURPLUS application?

 

  • Select the desired food, then add it to the basket. You can continue choosing other foods

 

  • When you have finished selecting food, you can press the basket image containing the price at the bottom

 

  • You will be taken to the payment page. On this page, you are asked to choose whether this food is picked up yourself or delivered

 

  • If you choose to pick it up yourself, then you can continue the payment process. If you want to send it, you must enter the delivery address. After that, choose the delivery method via GoSend Instant or Grab Instant. Food sent will be subject to shipping costs (postage) which will automatically be included in the total payment

 

  • To get a discount on postage or additional discounts on food prices, you just need to enter the voucher you have. Later the total payment will automatically decrease based on the voucher used

 

  • You can proceed directly to payment. The payment methods are quite diverse, such as GoPay, OVO, DANA, ShopeePay, and Surplus Pay (Surplus' electronic wallet). You just select the desired payment method, then click pay

 

  • If the payment process is successful, then you just have to wait for the order to arrive or pick it up directly at the location.

 

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