Title

Crop Swap Missoula: Food Waste and the Sharing Solution

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Collaborative consumption is defined by the expression's founder, Rachel Botsman, as an economic model based on sharing, swapping, trading, or renting products and services, enabling access over ownership. Whereas peer-to-peer exchanges were only practical within small networks of friends, family, and neighbors before, the internet and mobile technology has allowed us to share almost anything, anytime. The movement began slowly in the mid-nineties with websites such as Craigslist and eBay allowing for the exchange of goods between users, but with the 2008 recession putting a financial strain on millions, along with the awareness that we must conserve the planet's diminishing resources, the “sharing economy” began to grow at record pace, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Yet while there are countless examples of community exchange platforms, and more springing up everyday, there is not an efficient widespread platform for the sharing of food. It is estimated that nearly one half of all food produced is discarded, wasting valuable natural resources and costing billions. Using existing models of peer-to-peer exchange, this report will guide the creation of Crop Swap Missoula, a small-scale online food exchange in Missoula, Montana. The exchange will allow for the sale, donation, or trade of surplus food items among users, reducing food waste within the community. The potential financial, environmental and social benefits of the project will be considered, and problems that may occur in the process anticipated. Similar platforms often fail due to insufficient supply and demand, a lack of product focus, an unclear value scheme, not enough funding, or regulatory issues. Each of these concerns will be discussed as they apply to Crop Swap, and potential solutions explored.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 17th, 4:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:20 PM

Crop Swap Missoula: Food Waste and the Sharing Solution

UC 331

Collaborative consumption is defined by the expression's founder, Rachel Botsman, as an economic model based on sharing, swapping, trading, or renting products and services, enabling access over ownership. Whereas peer-to-peer exchanges were only practical within small networks of friends, family, and neighbors before, the internet and mobile technology has allowed us to share almost anything, anytime. The movement began slowly in the mid-nineties with websites such as Craigslist and eBay allowing for the exchange of goods between users, but with the 2008 recession putting a financial strain on millions, along with the awareness that we must conserve the planet's diminishing resources, the “sharing economy” began to grow at record pace, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Yet while there are countless examples of community exchange platforms, and more springing up everyday, there is not an efficient widespread platform for the sharing of food. It is estimated that nearly one half of all food produced is discarded, wasting valuable natural resources and costing billions. Using existing models of peer-to-peer exchange, this report will guide the creation of Crop Swap Missoula, a small-scale online food exchange in Missoula, Montana. The exchange will allow for the sale, donation, or trade of surplus food items among users, reducing food waste within the community. The potential financial, environmental and social benefits of the project will be considered, and problems that may occur in the process anticipated. Similar platforms often fail due to insufficient supply and demand, a lack of product focus, an unclear value scheme, not enough funding, or regulatory issues. Each of these concerns will be discussed as they apply to Crop Swap, and potential solutions explored.