The Winnow system uses scales and a camera to calculate the cost of food waste to a hotel.
The Winnow system uses scales and a camera to calculate the cost of food waste to a hotel.

ForPurposeCo has embarked on a mission to encourage hotel and commercial kitchens to adopt a new piece of AI-based technology designed to help cut food waste and help the business save money at the same time.

The innovation arm of food rescue charity OzHarvest has joined forces with tech platform Winnow to launch the system, known as Winnow Vision, in Australia. The system works to identify food items via a camera and, drawing on live market prices, inform hotels how much money they are literally throwing in the bin in the form of food wastage.

Over time and with regular use, the system learns to identify opportunities for a hotel to save money through more efficient purchasing processes as well as ways to donate leftover edible food to humanitarian endeavours such as OzHarvest. The technology stems from a global statistic which shows one-third of all food prepared is wasted.

Winnow is currently working with Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton and Marriott International, with Accor aiming to cut its food waste by 30 per cent by 2020 and the latter two working to halve their food waste levels by 2025.

“It’s the example that these organisations are setting in their industry where others have been following suit that’s going to make a really big change,” Winnow Founder and CEO Marc Zomes said.

“The first thing we ask is let us just show you how much money we can save you, and then let us help you take that to your senior leadership to help you save 10 to 100 times that amount, as we scale that up.

“We are firmly strategically committed for Australia to be one of the places where we invested a huge amount of resource.

“We want to engage with businesses, we want to engage with the community, we want to engage with governments around promoting that there’s something that makes economic sense and just are really excited to be here,” Zomes added.