Challenges with Investing in Food Waste Tech with Closed Loop Partners and Olympia Yarger of Goterra

Waste in the food system is an incredibly big challenge. Whether the aim is to reduce food loss, to curb packaging that ends up in landfills, or even to ensure food that’s grown makes it out of the field, there is waste at every link in the chain that continues to contribute to food and ag’s outsized climate impact. The good news is, there are plenty of startups, and many investors, that are tackling these thorny problems. But the problem is, it’s really complex.

Our internal grappling with why waste is such a hard nut to crack has taken us on a journey to better understand the barriers in the food system waste space. Today, we’re talking with Aly Bryan and Anne-Marie Kaluz from Closed Loop Partners about what they think is holding us back in addressing our waste problems, and then we turn to Olympia Yarger from Goterra (a Tenacious Ventures portfolio company) for more from an entrepreneur’s perspective.

In this episode, our guests speak about:

  • The need to reimagine what scale might look like in the face of priorities around localization and customization of hardware
  • Removing customer pain points and barriers to adoption as a strategy for reducing costs
  • Prioritizing deep relationships to unlock unexpected economics in collaboration with customers 


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Key takeaways

  • [00:07:41] Rethinking the full lifecycle assessment from product to waste
  • [00:13:10] Optimizing products and byproducts in waste management
  • [00:27:28] The real role of circularity in the waste stream

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