How food can fill bellies instead of garbage chutes


The mountain of surplus food is to grow smaller instead of larger, thanks to Whole Surplus – a startup which has created a technology platform for food retailers and charities. The application makes it possible to organise and administrates food donations to several places at once.

How do we know which types of foods and how much can no longer be sold? Information charities previously had to painstakingly research by phone or email is now available from Whole Surplus with just the click of a mouse. The web-based platform founded in 2016 offers the latest information quickly and concisely. Whole Surplus is the solution for the pressing social and global issue of food waste, which is accountable for around eight percent of global CO2 emissions.

The food waste B2B solution Whole Surplus founded under the name Fazlagida, in Istanbul, Turkey. It offers a concrete remedy: it brings together food retailers and charity organisations so that food is no longer discarded, but rather delivered exactly where it’s needed. That way, the food sector can optimise its merchandise management, and charities can organise the workflows of their aid projects more efficiently. Sustainability and social requirements, as well as tax aspects for the donating companies are equally taken into account.

Whole Surplus was launched as a pilot project in 2016. Within just three months, 40 tons of food could be diverted from landfills. Whole Surplus manages this task with three full-time employees, one part-time employee and four interns. Their participation in the Metro Accelerator program aims to amplify their success across many strategic areas.

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Olcay & Arda

Mr Silahli, you developed a management system that minimises food waste and works in different countries. What prompted this idea?

The determining experience for me was a visit to Kenya. There, I developed the idea of a sustainable economic model that helps people and is self-supporting. My plan received a boost at the One Young World Summit where young people meet to find solutions for the world’s most pressing problems. Food waste is one such problem. Around the world, one-third of the food goes to waste. This is equivalent to €30bn which could be saved.

What is the greatest challenge?

For a startup, opening a large B2B environment is a true challenge. But we can master this challenge – not least thanks to the METRO Accelerator mentorship program.

How does the program support you specifically?

METRO Accelerator helps us grow fast, also as a small company. Our mentors show us the “bigger picture“, the view from the top – a view that’s quickly lost in day-to-day business. For example, they show us how to avoid mistakes in operational business before they occur.

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