A Colorado Springs startup is gaining national attention. FoodMaven, a company built on saving 'ugly food' from the landfill has investors putting-up millions of dollars.
The sustainability movement is growing, turns out, right here in our own backyard. Food waste startups like FoodMaven are getting a lot of investor attention, as we all realize that just because food doesn't always look good doesn't mean we should throw it away.
"At the very beginning when FoodMaven started we were growing slowly for a couple of years," said Megan Cornish.
The start-up has 25,000 square feet of space in Colorado Springs, stocked with perfectly good food that was destined for the landfill.
"FoodMaven captures food that would otherwise be wasted," said Cornish, "Maybe it's food that's perfect or it's just over-supplied. We also work with local food so local farmers and ranchers."
It's estimated about 40% of food in the united states ends up in landfills or the trash. Only half of that is post-consumer waste, meaning the scraps we scrape off our plate or the food that goes bad in our fridge. the rest of it is good food that gets wasted if local ranchers or farmers can't find buyers in time.
"We take that food, we bring it to our food storage facility, put it up on an online marketplace and chefs and institutions are able to shop there for this food that really is a great value and was not able to be sold by the supplier who had it," she said.
The company is only four years old, but it's already attracting the attention of major players in the industry.
Just this week, a group of backers invested more than $15 million dollars, banking on FoodMaven's potential.
According to Forbes, some of those investors include members of Walmart's founding family and the former whole foods co-CEO, who sits on its board.
"It really demonstrates that the model FoodMaven has is valuable and it's taking off and it's absolutely scale-able," she said.
Using that money, FoodMaven is making its first out-of-state acquisition in Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas. But nationwide expansion is ultimately their goal.
"That will help us prove the FoodMaven model that it's not a Colorado phenomenon," she said.
FoodMaven is just one in the long list of food-waste fighters. Globally, three billion tons of food, that's one-third of all food produced for human consumption, is lost or wasted.