Capital and Innovation
Catalyzing Capital to Spur Innovation and Scale High-impact Initiatives
Investment in innovative food waste solutions combined with increased adoption and implementation of effective solutions by food businesses is critical to achieving our collective national and global goals to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.
While food waste solutions available today have the dynamic potential to make a scalable impact in creating a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive food system, they continue to face financing barriers. To overcome the bottlenecks and help de-risk new innovations, $3 billion annually is needed in catalytic grants, innovation investments, and low cost project finance. This is where ReFED’s Capital and Innovation team comes in.
The Capital and Innovation team works to catalyze the $14 billion investment of public, private, and philanthropic capital needed per year over the next decade in food waste solutions. Their work includes educating and advising funders on emerging investment opportunities in food waste, supporting food businesses in selecting effective food waste solutions and connecting them with solution providers, as well as building the capacity of innovators in order to scale their service offering(s).
Investment and Innovation
The Capital and Innovation team create and offer a number of resources and tools for food businesses, capital providers, and food waste solution providers. These assets provide insights on the food waste landscape and can help inform key decisions on the most optimal ways to reduce food waste.
Leveraging the expertise and knowledge of the Capital and Innovation team, ReFED offers direct advisory services to food businesses, capital providers, technology companies, and many others on food waste reduction programs and investment strategies.
Solution Challenge Platform
The Solution Challenge Platform gives innovative food waste solution providers various opportunities - like funding, pilots, and accelerator programs - to scale their impact.
The ReFED Nonprofit Food Recovery Accelerator
Before COVID-19, up to 40 percent of perfectly good food was wasted, while one in seven Americans were identified as food insecure, illustrating an opportunity to enact systems-level change to enhance the food system, reduce waste, and ensure that food ultimately goes towards serving its highest purpose of feeding people in a dignified manner.
ReFED saw this opportunity and in the Fall of 2019 launched its Nonprofit Food Recovery Accelerator with support from the Walmart Foundation and in partnership with +Acumen. The Accelerator immersed 10 nonprofit food recovery organizations in a combination of virtual curriculum and in-person ReFED Learning Labs. Its focus was on leveraging earned revenue models, technology solutions, and human-centered design to catalyze ideas and inspire actions that could help the organizations overcome challenges that have limited their ability to scale solutions to increase the amount of healthy food available to food insecure Americans.
Program at a Glance
The Capital & Innovation team hosts a wide range of convenings to foster collaboration and solutions-oriented synergies between food businesses, capital providers, and food waste solution providers.