FUTR za JUTR
Maruša Dolinar, Žan Girandon, Pia Groleger, Tjaša Mužina, Luka Pleskovič, Simon Rozman
Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Every day humanity faces numerous challenges that impact economic, socio-ethical and environmental aspects of our lives. One of them is the increasing amount of food waste. With our project, we wanted to challenge currently established practices of food waste generation and disposal in Slovenia, where 140.804 tonnes of food are wasted each year, with 39% still being edible.
As this is a complex systemic issue, we started our project by gathering insights from various stakeholders, such as retailers, restaurant owners, humanitarian organizations, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, and more. Collaboration with humanitarian organizations enabled us to conduct multiple service safaris, become volunteers, and experience food donation practice first hand.
Throughout our research, one finding stood out: The amount of food waste could be reduced by optimising food donation practices, as large amounts of edible food are discarded due to the lack of available options for organised food donation. Some donors actually wish to donate greater amounts of food but are limited with the capabilities of the humanitarian organizations.
In the search for the answer to this issue, we had to take into account the diverse needs of the stakeholders involved with food donations – retailers, volunteers and people in need. Through the intertwined actions of ideation, feedback and iteration, we were able to propose a solution that benefits all parties involved.
“FUTR za JUTR” combines an app and a smart food locker in order to decrease the amount of food waste by improving food donations. The app works as a communication tool between stakeholders, while food lockers improve the accessibility of pickup points for users and lessen the work burden for volunteers.
The process starts with donors. At the end of the day, an employee collects the surplus food, places it in suitable packaging and writes it off. The food is then delivered to an allocated self-service food locker, which is located nearby.
After the food items are safely stored in the lockers, the recipients are alerted about available food through the app notifications. They can see available food items and locations of filled lockers.
Users who can access the pickup point themselves, go to the chosen food locker and unlock it with a single-use access code generated by a mobile app. Then they choose whichever food items they desire.
If the recipients can’t access the pickup point by themselves, the app offers them the option to order the food and get it delivered by a volunteer.
Some of the advantages that our concept offers, compared to the current donation practice, are:
- The concept’s flexibility allows scaling up, according to the stakeholders’ needs in their own context.
- The digitalisation of bureaucracy simplifies and speeds up food donation practices.
- Less need for humanitarian organizations to have their own infrastructure, as smart lockers can replace storage spaces and fridges.
- Food donation practice could be expanded to rural areas, where the poverty rate is the highest.
- The concept could also diminish the social stigma that is currently associated with food donations.