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  • Writer's pictureTimothy Laku

My presentation at the UN Official Launch Event of the International Year of Fruits & Vegetables

The UN General Assembly designated 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV) In declaring 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, the United Nations General Assembly aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of fruits and vegetables and their contribution to a balanced and healthy diet and lifestyle.

  • It also hopes to draw attention to the need to reduce losses and waste in the fruit and vegetable sector (UN 2020) while delivering better on environmental outcomes.

In my capacity as the CTO of Bringo Fresh, I was invited at the launch to participate as a panelist and share on how we are improving healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and technology.

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, QU Dongyu, launched the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables on the 15th of December 2020, with an appeal to improve healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and technology and to reduce food loss and waste.

FAO is the lead agency for celebrating the year in collaboration with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system.

The IYFV 2021 is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health and as well in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Below is an excerpt from my panel presentation:

Bringo Fresh is a social enterprise that increases small holder farmer incomes by granting them access to an organized market . We started our operations in 2017. We are based in Uganda working with over 40,000 farmers.

Our first innovation is that we are providing an alternative to the traditional market vendor with a mobile application.

Food buyers use our mobile app to order for fruits and vegetables which are conveniently delivered, through our national network of distributors to their doorsteps.

Our second innovation is that we run a vertically integrated business model; we connect the farmer to the consumer.

We are fully accountable to deliver fresh and safe fruits and vegetables while reducing food waste throughout the supply chain.

Our third innovation is that we are leveraging digital tools to make the value chain transparent. With these tools we control the supply chain from farm to consumer thus eliminating the middleman.

Our digital tools allow us to track and trace fresh produce from production to consumption. This has broaden market opportunities for our database of 40,000 farmers and has reduced waste and losses.

Our fourth innovation is that we continue to provide post harvest training to all our farmers and ensure that only the freshest produce, which adheres to our food safety protocol, is sent to our pack house.

We are keen on food safety, and we do this by adhering to Global GAP good practices. In addition to this we work with our farmers to get organic certifications.

At the pack house, our produce is prepared to the highest hygiene practices. We ensure that there is continuous cool chain maintained during logistics through to packing further reducing post harvest loses and ensuring that freshness and food safety is retained.

Produce which do not meet specification in relation to size or cosmetic defects is processed

into convenience food further reducing postharvest waste.

Our fifth innovation focuses on the last mile distribution. We pack our produce in returnable boxes with cooling elements and deliver to consumers within 1 hour to ensure freshness.

We plan to use electric motorbikes and vehicles to lower our carbon footprint.

With these innovations we ensure that the freshest produce is delivered to the consumer at a competitive price while minimizing waste with the best return for farmers.

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