Christine Moseley founded Full Harvest, a B2B marketplace for imperfect and surplus produce, out of a desire to make healthy food more affordable and accessible.
After spending over a decade working in the logistics sector, she started working with one of the first cold-press juice companies in the United States. However, she was frustrated that the green juices cost about $13 each.
While there does tend to be a premium price attached to plant-based products in general, Christine realised that there more was to that exorbitant price: The company was paying top-dollar for produce just to immediately throw it in a blender or juicer.
“So, I became very passionate about figuring out to how to make healthy food more affordable and accessible, because I realised that that was the most direct way to improve people’s health and the environment,” she told Impakter in 2018. “If more people are eating healthy food then they’re eating more plant-based food, they’re healthier, and it’s helping the world better.”
After researching methods to improve the supply chain to make healthy food more accessible, she started to learning about food waste and the “ugly” and surplus produce that is discarded in the process. One day, she went to a farm that only needed to harvest romaine lettuce hearts, “leaving 70% of the plant on the ground before just churning it immediately back under,” she recalled of the experience.
“Consumers are getting pickier and pickier, which means Walmart and Costco and other large players demand perfect produce and present concerted buying power to farmers,” Christine told AgFunderNews. “Growers, therefore, need to cater to those buyers first and foremost, as without them they’d be struggling, so they focus on harvesting perfect produce as much as possible.”
With the growing popularity of plant-based products and businesses, Christine realised there was a need for a marketplace to connect farmers directly to companies with the purpose of unloading imperfect or surplus produce items. As such, Full Harvest was founded to fill that need.
Buyers who don’t need perfect-looking produce enjoy lower prices that can be passed onto the consumer, and farmers have a platform to sell items that would have otherwise been thrown away, a win-win situation for both parties.
The business focuses on vegetable farms greater than 1,000 acres and fruit farms larger than 100 acres, as reported by TechCrunch.
In 2018, Full Harvest received $8.5 million in venture funding. While that’s not rare on its own, it is uncommon for solo founders, female founders and businesses in the agricultural space.
In March 2019, the company won the Most Innovative US Startup Series A and Beyond category at AgFunder’s 2019 AgriFood Tech Innovation Awards.
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