Bii: fighting against food waste

Bii, a social business, proposes to test an innovative response to food insecurity and waste in Madagascar by collecting, transforming, and distributing or reselling surplus food through a digital platform.

Why take action ?

While 30% of the world’s food production is lost or wasted (FAO, 2020), in Madagascar, for certain products such as lychees, this figure can reach up to 70%. At the same time 77% of the Malagasy population lives in poverty and faces a situation of food insecurity (World Bank, 2020).

However, these losses open up opportunities for the valorization of surplus or wasted food to fight malnutrition more effectively while creating new jobs. Rethinking the food system towards a circular economy system would thus make it possible to guarantee sufficient resources, food security and balanced nutrition for all.

Proposed innovation

Bii proposes a response to food insecurity and waste by collecting, transforming and distributing or reselling surplus food, relying on a digital solution to optimize the process.

The startup is developing three mutually-reinforcing areas of activity:

  • Food Market: a digital application allowing companies to sell their surplus food at a reduced price to consumers;
  • Food Transformation: a small-scale unit for the transformation and revalorization of food surpluses, which constitutes a channel of integration into employment for women in precarious situations;
  • Food Sharing: food donations to charities working with vulnerable children via a dedicated digital application.

FID’s funding aims to prototype, test and consolidate the Food Market and tailor the Food Market application to the Malagasy context, before launching the three areas of activities throughout Bii’s countries of intervention (Madagascar, Ivory Coast and Morocco).

Key learnings

For the company: the digitization of activities will allow the automation of the processes of market resale and distribution of donations to associations, facilitating also the scaling up in other countries. The application will also provide financial independence to Bii, which through the resale of part of the surplus will obtain a stable source of income to sustain its donations.

For the core beneficiaries: the redistribution of the surplus to children will ensure food security and improved nutrition. People on limited income will also be able to reduce their food expenses thanks to the reintegration of unsold food into the market at more affordable prices. Finally, this project will create jobs in the circular economy sector for the women who will be trained before joining a production unit.

 

Image credits: Bii team

Presentation of the team

Bii is a social enterprise created in 2018 in Mauritius that has expanded to Madagascar in 2019 as well as to Ivory Coast and Morocco in 2020. The social start-up helps food producers reduce waste while benefitting the most vulnerable populations and the environment.