Food security is now a universal concern. With the global population increasing steadily, ensuring food for all is a humanitarian issue. All over the world government officials are recognizing the critical connection between food demand, food security and the environmental impact of both. With a global population expected to increase by 8.5 billion by 2030 and reach 9.7 billion inhabitants by 2050 (UN, 2019), legitimate concerns arise about the capability of our planet to sustain basic human needs in the future. Demand for food alone is expected to increase by 60%.
An Israeli app offers the solution to provide food security not only in Israel, but worldwide.
The app that helps match farmers seeking workers with volunteers around the country will soon be available in the US. Since it was launched in Israel in 2019, the SunDo app has helped provide a platform for creating a local volunteer community to support and assist farmers, connected more than 15,000 individuals with 290 farmers and saved hundreds of tons of produce. Now the SunDo app will be expanding to the US to help build community engagement, rescue food and ensure that nobody goes hungry.
SunDo, a subsidiary of HaShomer HaChadash (The New Guardian), a nonprofit organization that works to strengthen the connection between Israeli farmers and the local community, has helped modernize and speed up the process of connecting farmers and volunteers by bringing simple technology to traditional farming. With SunDo, each person in Israel can 'connect to the land' and volunteer in a variety of agricultural work.
The US is now facing the same critical concerns about food supply. The US agriculture and food system are key drivers of economic growth, providing $2 trillion in annual revenue, employment for 19 million people and $130 billion in profit for more than 2.6 million businesses. Yet an estimated 36% of all food loss and waste in the United States occurs in the primary production stage of the food supply chain with 28% lost during the period of pre-harvest and 8% occurring post-harvest (FAO 2018). To meet this challenge, the US is devising new agricultural practices, building new markets and removing unfair trade barriers.
One of the biggest contributors to the food loss problem is the long-lasting, increasing shortage of agricultural workers. Countries are feeling this acutely today during the corona crisis, where borders are closed, imports and exports are limited, and many countries are forced to depend solely on local produce. The shortage of agricultural workers is felt more acutely. In Israel, the SunDo app helped save hundreds of tons of produce over the last few months of the crisis, by connecting more than 7,500 volunteers to hundreds of farmers who needed a helping hand.
The SunDo app is simple to use, making it accessible to all and offering a platform for both those seeking help and those offering it. A potential volunteer can search based on a wide list of criteria, location, days of the week and what kind of work needs to be done. Volunteers contact farmers directly, cutting out the middleman. Hundreds of farmers have praised the app and the dedicated individuals who came to help.
Beyond the practical purpose it serves, SunDo is also helping to build connections, says Bat El Asulin, the CEO of SunDo. While there are other apps that offer opportunities for agri-tourism allowing tourists to come work on a farm for a week in exchange for room and board, SunDo is unique in providing real-time support in the form of local community to help farmers. SunDo ensures that farmers in need can find help immediately, rather than waiting for scheduled tourists. Volunteers come for a day, when they are most needed, and make sure crops are planted and picked. Together we are creating a more connected, engaged, and sustainable world
The first pilot programs in the US will take place in California and Florida.
To learn more about the SunDo app and where it will be used in the US, visit the website at https://en.sundoapp.com/