Location: Agen, France

Sector: Sales and services

Start-up offering businesses digital and logistical solutions to value unsold and waste in order to fight against waste.


Created in 2013, COMERSO helps companies to reduce and value their unsold products and waste. This start-up proposes a whole range of solutions, with for example the collection and distribution of unsold products to forward them to associations. In this article, we will focus only on unsold foods.

In France, companies are taxed on the amount of waste they produce and must pay a provider for the treatment of this waste. In addition, according to the Garot law fighting against food waste: any commercial area of ​​more than 400 m² is prohibited from throwing products still consumable, under penalty of paying a fine. Donation to associations is a way to redistribute unsolds. Companies that practice it obtain a tax reduction of up to 60% of the value of the purchase price of the product. The Comerso solution is a global approach combining destocking, promotion, donations to associations, waste recovery and management by KPI’s, enabling companies to save money, improve their environmental impact and increase their social utility.

  • 15 million meals redistributed to associations
  • 7400 tons of products saved from trash
  • 18 million data collected / year 
  • Activity of 100 people: 36 employees and 70 drivers 
  • 450 partner companies and 400 partner associations

project operation

Comerso values ​​all types of unsold products (fresh or dry food, non-food: textiles, etc.) On the food side, Comerso concentrates its activity on supermarkets and hypermarkets, agri-food industries, and logistics platforms.

In retail, the original activity of the company, the valuation of unsold and waste takes place in several steps:

C-Stick is a mobile solution connected to a software allowing the management of products with short DLC and subsequently unsold products. When the products arrive at the expiry date (usually a few days before), they are labeled to be sold.

If they are not sold, store employees collect them directly from the shelves and distribute them in specific bins to be donated to the associations.
Comerso has developed a system of traceability of products and monitoring of temperature which secures both the donor company and the recipient association by ensuring compliance with the legislation in force concerning food donation.

The products are then recovered and transported by refrigerated lorries (to respect the cold chain) by drivers who are partly in professional integration (partnership with ENVIE).

Unsold are distributed to the various associations in the region according to their needs, their opening hours and their supply capacity. These solutions allow to manage unsolds and to simplify work associations. Finally they only have to weigh the products they receive to participate in statistical monitoring and focus on the donation.

Comerso has developed a tool called C-Stats, which is a digital platform to manage KPI that enables companies and associations to analyze their sales and donations and manage their tax certificates in a secure manner.

sustainable approach

  • Better management of unsold products by companies allow to limit food waste upstream, to ensure a good quality donation (especially by respecting the cold chain) and consequently to give more quality products to associations (ex: scrap rate at the Food Bank of Bordeaux rose from 20% to 2%)
  • Economy made by companies: by making food donation via COMERSO:
    • they avoid paying a provider for the treatment of waste, as well as a fine for non-compliance with the law for supermarkets concerning the donation of food
    • they benefit from a reduction corporate tax (a food donation allows a tax exemption of 60%)
  • The COMERSO service remains entirely free for associations
  • Create links between local actors
  • COMERSO works with an integration company (ENVIE) employing 70 drivers

replicability & future perspectives

This system is of course reproducible because it is applicable to any entity producing food waste, and offers a transport service even for remote associations.

The environmental cost of transportation would be an issue to raise. However, COMERSO plans to carry out a LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) to measure these impacts, and to go into an eco-design approach.

COMERSO would like to develop its activity and continue its network throughout France, and develop in Europe and the USA. The start-up also plans to develop its tools thanks to artificial intelligence to go further in the objective Zero Dechet.

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