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Innovative businesses models have sought to apply technology to provide solutions to tackle food waste and provide new ways of accessing and consuming food (Mullick, Haans and Nijssen, 2020). Consumer to consumer and businesses to consumer platforms such as OLIO and Too Good To Go have pushed forward a new landscape of food redistribution, connecting neighbours and local shops to help prevent food surpluses from becoming waste. Information technology is reshaping such activities across the supply chain under a sustainability agenda. Digital platforms such as Food Cloud and Plan Zheros have connected the food industry to charities to aid the donation of surplus providing a basis for a scalable system.
Accompanying this technological development is a processes of formalisation. Charities and community recipients are entrusted to comply with food safety legislation in the same way as businesses. Questions have been posited over whether the same commensality that comes with sharing food and eating together offline can be present through these digital exchanges (Smith and Harvey, 2021; Spence, Mancini and Huisman, 2019). Further research is required to understand the implications of the rise in digital platforms in their usage for sustainable food provision. Who are the winners and losers of this trend and to what extent should they form part a sustainable food future?
Key questions in this track include, but are not limited too:
- How are digital platforms being utilised through consumer to consumer and business to consumer exchanges as solutions to food insecurity and food waste?
- What can be learnt from how these digital platforms have been used and how can further research utilise the ‘digital foot print’ of data that such platforms create?
- How can the role of digital platforms be better understood in terms of where they lie in the jigsaw of responses to tackling food waste and food insecurity, as well as for greater access to nutritious food?