Agritech start-up Cultiveat Sdn Bhd has extended its business to selling fresh and safe produce online to reduce food waste in the light of the 14-day restricted movement order (RMO).
As businesses in the food and beverage (F&B) industry scale back their operations, the company, which previously only supplied vegetables to restaurants and cafés, has improvised on its business model to serve end-consumers directly.
The vegetables, which are grown using technology-assisted mini-farming techniques, are grown without the use of pesticides and in weather-regulated indoor farms.
“We were already planning to sell the vegetables directly to consumers, but we decided to accelerate our plans following the reduced demand from our F&B partners, resulting in excess supply,” says Charmaine Kon, head of marketing at Cultiveat.
As consumers will not be able to buy from their farm in Kapar directly, the vegetables, consisting of various types of lettuce, are sold online via https://cultiveat.co/market/. Delivery is currently limited to certain locations in the Klang Valley and free until March 31, when the RMO is expected to end.
As Cultiveat has just rolled out the initiative, consumers can only choose from two packages — Lettuce Mix and Summer Crisps. The lettuce mix consists of a random bunch of six types of lettuce heads such as butterhead, romaine, mini cos, frisee, oakleaf, summer crisp, coral and Batavia.
The company has also allocated some of its produce to communities and organisations working to alleviate the food shortage faced by daily wage-earners, the poor and the underserved following the RMO to reduce Covid-19 infections.
According to Kon, Cultiveat currently supplies to The Lost Food Project, What A Waste and other initiatives supplying food to the medical front line and refugees.
The Lost Food Project and What A Waste are food banks that take on surplus food to help reduce waste and relieve hunger. The two community-founded initiatives are also raising funds and asking for food donations.
“Chai, head chef and owner of Copper restaurant at Menara Shell, led this initiative where you raise angel sponsors from your friends and families to cook and pack meals for the medical front-liners, who are working tirelessly to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The idea is to provide hot and healthy meals to boost their morale. Chai works with the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia’s Response and Relief Team to coordinate where the food goes,” says Kon.
Cultiveat is also working with Tasputra Perkim — a daycare and training centre for children with special needs — to supply fresh vegetables to refugee families.