Full Harvest, a B2B marketplace that helps farmers shift surplus and imperfect produce to food and beverage companies, has raised $8.5 million in a series A round of funding led by Spark Capital, with participation from Cultivian Sandbox Ventures and Wireframe Ventures, among others.

The San Francisco-based startup works with food buyers and sellers to find a market for food that may otherwise be disposed of. For example, the fruit and vegetables you see in your local supermarket are usually the best of the bunch, in terms of shape, size, and general aesthetic qualities — but a by-product of this preference for perfect-looking produce is that the imperfect goods often end up in a landfill.

Above: Is that 2 for the price of 1… or just a deformed apple?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

As much as 40 percent of food in the U.S. alone goes uneaten each year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Globally, about one-third of the food produced each year, the equivalent of 1.3 billion tons, is either lost or wasted, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. This is the problem Full Harvest is trying to solve.

Farms can sign up through the platform to list and sell produce they might struggle to offload through traditional retail outlets. Buyers can sign up to receive pricing alerts and place orders through the Full Harvest platform.

Full Harvest already works with a number of U.S. food and drink companies, and the startup claims it has helped one major U.S. farm increase its profits by 12 percent per acre.

Waste not

Founded in 2015, Full Harvest is one of a…