FreshDetect protects both consumers and suppliers by eliminating food wastage problems by addressing inefficiency in the supply chain.

Photo of Shivani Gurrapu
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Please confirm you meet the following criteria

  • We have submitted the supplemental form linked in the description above
  • We are aged between 14 - 20 as of February 11, 2021
  • We live in the United States or its territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa)
  • We are not employed by, or directly related (parents or siblings) to a current General Motors (GM) or Ashoka employee
  • We have been working on this project for at least three months
  • We consent to Ashoka and/or GM featuring our work on their website, social media, and in other materials regarding this Challenge using the information in our application
  • We confirm we have the rights to use and share any content uploaded on this entry form

Date You Started Your Project


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Cargo ships are the primary ways of transporting produce across oceans. However, their sensitive nature makes it easier for them to degrade in transit—resulting in unnecessary waste. Nearly 14% of the world's food is lost between harvest and retail. That's over 200 million pounds of food each day. FreshDetect is the proposed solution to this problem.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Suppliers create a product page about their shipment on our website and load their produce in shipping containers that contain the FreshDetect hardware. Buyers can bid on the product shipments and set their desired freshness thresholds. After winning, it is locked to them. The shipment is monitored by FreshDetect’s hardware and sends real-time updates to the web portal using sensors such as temperature, humidity, and volatile organic compounds. If the freshness score falls below the set threshold, the buyer can back-out and the produce re-enters bidding. The latest buyer to hold the order receives the shipment at its arrival port. This novel bidding process and real-time analytics ensure that food is not thrown away just because it doesn’t meet the freshness standards that businesses need. Instead, it can be efficiently redistributed to another business for a lower price and the supplier doesn’t lose money. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

3. Please tell us how you are using science, technology, engineering or math to address your environmental challenge.

FreshDirect is a smart shipping container solution to this problem. Using IoT, Machine Learning, and Blockchain technologies it provides a new way to protect both consumers and suppliers alike and eliminates food wastage problems by addressing inefficiency in the supply chain. FreshDetect provides fair pricing for farmers producing agricultural products, especially in developing countries by reducing wastage. Lower pressure on export crop production reduces adverse effects of large scale agriculture on natural resources and wildlife habitat, especially in parts of the world with endangered species. A more efficient food supply system in developing countries allows for more economical stability, less social unrest, and better opportunities for the local population to diversify and develop.

4. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

We believe thatthis is a transformative journey in terms of self-growth that is unlike any other experience.Each big problem has a subset of smaller problems. In order to solve the big problem, we need to find a solution or an idea for smaller problems. This process develops problem-solving skills and gives the ability to generate ambitious ideas to work on. Ambitious ideas push our civilization forward. The traits of perseverance and hard work cannot be emphasized more. Furthermore, I hope to create new knowledge for the food logistics industry. The amount of food transported is growing 7% annually and there is little innovation in this important space.

5. Video (Keep it simple, your phone on selfie-mode is great): Please upload a 1-minute video to YouTube that answers the following “I am stepping up to be a Changemaker because...”

6. Please highlight the key activities you have carried out to bring your project to life.

The prototype of the hardware sensors is developed and fully functional. It provides real-time updates to the web portal where suppliers and buyers can bid on shipments and check their shipment analytics. Alpha testing has been completed and the whole process works seamlessly without any errors. Our plan is to finish establishing partnerships with suppliers and buyers and provide them with a fully-developed Fresh detect product.

7. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

With FreshDetect, each and every pound of food produced should go from farm to table or be redistributed to the right destination while avoiding wastage. As changemakers, we strongly believe our mission is to better manage our world’s food production for a brighter future. Together our team can make a difference across the world with FreshDetect.

8. Impact: In the last three months, please detail the impact your project has made.

The pandemic has greatly affected our efforts in reaching out to local farmers. But, we are still developing the final product, so after lockdown, we will be able to release the product to local farmers.

9. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We wanted to reach out to local farmers, family, and friends for their support in making the campaign go further.

13. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

14. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you? You’ll be able to select only one option.

  • Project Plan & Strategy

Are you employed, or directly related (grand-parents, parents, sibling) to a GM or Ashoka employee?

  • No

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

Yes, absolutely! - 25%

Probably - 0%

Maybe - 75%

Probably not - 0%

No - 0%

2. CONNECTION to Environmental Sustainability

5 - Absolutely! It is totally clear that the solution is contributing directly to environmental sustainability and/or addressing climate change - 50%

4 — Yes, it establishes a connection to environment/ climate change but could be stronger - 50%

3 — Somewhat, the entry speaks to this environmental sustainability, but the direct impact is not well established - 0%

2 — Not really, the connection to environment/ climate is very weak - 0%

1 — No. The entry does not have a reference the solution’s impact on environment and/or climate change - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

3. Is this entry CREATIVE?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 25%

4 - Yes, I think so - 25%

3 - Maybe - 50%

2 - Probably not. - 0%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Does this entry demonstrate a COMMITMENT to changemaking?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 50%

4 - Yes, I think so - 50%

3 - Maybe - 100%

2 - Probably not - 0%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Does this entry value CHANGEMAKING through collaboration with other stakeholders in its approach?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4 - Yes, I think so - 50%

3 - Maybe - 25%

2 - Probably not - 0%

1 - No - 25%

No Answer - 0%

6. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so - 25%

3- Maybe - 25%

2- Probably not - 50%

1- No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: What are the strengths of this project?

CONNECTION: You have a great understanding and personal connection to the problem - 50%

CREATIVITY: You have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions to aid environmental sustainability/combat climate change - 50%

COMMITMENT: You have a thoughtful plan for growing your business, and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 100%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: You value thinking around how to activate other changemakers and empower them to care about your cause. You also have a clearly defined plan on how to collaborate across multiple stakeholders - 25%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 50%

VIABLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 0%

Other option - 0%

8. FEEDBACK: What are some areas for improvement for this project?

CONNECTION: Why you care about the environment/ climate was unclear – It would be great to elaborate on what this solution means to you, personally and how it affects you and/or your community. - 0%

CREATIVITY: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 33.3%

COMMITMENT: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 33.3%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming. How will they care about environment/climate if they currently do not? Think about how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 66.7%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 0%

Other option - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kalpana Yanamadala

This is a great idea to reduce food wastage. May be you can add in an additional step in predicting the freshness of the food based on the condition before loading to the container, so it can be routed accordingly.

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