Photo: Yaopey Yong / Unsplash.

Roughly about one-third of food produced globally is never consumed but goes to waste even as millions of people face malnourishment. A large proportion of this food waste comes from the food and hospitality industries.

In this podcast episode, our guest Louis Alban, the co-founder of Yindii, discusses how the food and hospitality industries can minimize food loss and waste.

Yindii is a food surplus delivery app that connects restaurants, cafés and hotels in Bangkok with consumers at a highly discounted price of up to 80% off the normal price. Yindii could be a circular model for improving our food systems while reducing carbon footprint from food loss and waste, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas.

We explore how Yindii’s model works to absorb the food surplus through their mobile app.

Making food systems efficient and affordable

We waste foods every day without even realising it. Food waste comes in various forms, such as the leftover grains, deformed fruits, and hard-to-chew yet edible breads. However, tacking food waste is not necessarily about wasting no foods at all. Rather, it is about being mindful of our foods and minimising the waste as much as possible.

In addition to the “how” part of food waste minimization, most of us also lack awareness about what constitutes food loss and waste. When it comes to food loss and waste, most people only consider the final product without knowing what it takes to bring the food to the table.

As Louis points out, “when you throw away foods you also throw away resources like water, gas, electricity with the foods.”

Therefore, he wants to “empower people to fight food waste but the first point is you need to know more about the impacts of food loss before tackling it.” Awareness raising is key to solving food waste problems as it will shift people’s perceptions of what food waste is.

And yet, challenges remain. Even if people have a good understanding about efficient food systems, often the available solutions to sustainable consumption and food systems come at a price.

Yindii’s appealing solution is to connect the food surplus from the food and hospitality industries directly to the consumers.

“Yindii’s secret to do that is actually very attractive because we are matching sustainability with affordability…. Discount comes in the Yindii app as the teaser or as an incentive to get people on board and also to talk about various issues,” said Louis.

With this solution, the food retailers and hospitality players in Thailand can reduce their food waste while allowing consumers to get good quality foods at discounted prices.

“At home, fighting food waste can also be really fun. It is about being creative with the food surplus food that you have, you can learn recipes, you can invent new ones,” said Louis.

This is an episode in the SEI Asia podcast miniseries on optimizing urban food systems resilience. The podcasts are part of our work with the Think20 (T20), the official engagement group of the Group of Twenty (G20) for think tanks and academics.

Listen to the podcast below: