Start-up SPRK partners with Optimahl and Berlin Partner for sustainable catering in Berlin from food oversupply


  • Impact start-up SPRK and Optimahl Catering distribute surplus food that cannot be called up by the hotel and catering industry and turn it into sustainable dishes

  • Berlin Partner for Business and Technology orders meals for digital event "Meet & Eat

  • From the beginning of 2021, SPRK and Optimahl will offer products and daily specials in the restaurants of Berlin's "esswirtschaft", 75 percent of which will be created from redistributed food


Berlin, 16 December 2020 - Berlin-based impact start-up GmbH (SPRK) aims to redistribute and eliminate food oversupply throughout the supply chain in the long term. Today, the start-up announces its partnership with Optimahl Catering (Optimahl). Berlin Partner for Business and Technology (Berlin Partner) is picking up the first meals made from the food oversupply for the digital event "Meet & Eat". The cooperation is to set a precedent and be extended to other partnerships in Berlin.


During the pandemic lockdown, tons of food will not be called up by restaurants, catering services and hotels. SPRK tackled this problem with an innovative concept and launched the Impact Alliance Berlin in March 2020. Traders, catering services and, above all, non-profit buyers are networked in order to bring oversupply of food back into the cycle of society in a meaningful way and thus give it a second life.


Cooperation as a solution in the crisis

SPRK identified an option in the crisis to redistribute surplus food in a meaningful way. "At SPRK, we wanted to help quickly and unbureaucratically during the crisis. Without further delay, we launched the Impact Alliance Berlin in March 2020. The SPRK solution proposal: Berlin companies join forces and cooperate in supporting those in need through the rapid and coordinated redistribution of surplus food. By partnering with Optimahl, we can give valuable food a second life. We are pleased to have found a first buyer for the sustainably prepared meals in Berlin Partner," says SPRK founder and CEO Alexander Piutti.


In addition, SPRK has already distributed 30 tonnes of food to non-profit organisations in the Berlin area since the beginning of Covid19 in March 2020.


Mirko Mann, Managing Director of Optimahl comments: "I was immediately taken by the idea and immediately offered our support. The crisis affects us all. To also support SPRK in this mission with our drivers and refrigerated trucks was a matter of course for us."


SPRK and Optimahl deliver lunch packages to Berlin Partner's "Meet & Eat" digital event

Berlin Partner once again invites to a digital lunch in the run-up to Christmas. In the spring, Berlin Partner created "Meet & Eat", a new format for the otherwise personal exchange between Berlin companies. „‘Meet & Eat‘ is not a substitute for face-to-face interaction, but an additional offer to create new proximity and communication in times of social distance. As an economic development agency, we not only support start-ups, but also specifically sustainable concepts. The offer from SPRK and Optimahl fits perfectly into this concept. The cooperation is a great example of Berlin's innovative strength," says Dr. Stefan Franzke, Managing Director of Berlin Partner.


The sustainable lunch pack from SPRK and Optimahl contains, for example, a Mediterranean potato salad with rocket, tomatoes, olives, Italian hard cheese and cranberry dressing. This is accompanied by a hot Mexican bean soup with chilli and wild herbs. As a Christmas extra, there are dried and candied citrus fruit peels, which are perfect for decorating pastries.


The next cooperation project between SPRK and Optimahl is in preparation: in addition to the joint catering offer, sustainable and freshly prepared SPRK dishes and products will be offered at three restaurant locations of the "esswirtschaft" on site from the beginning of 2021. At least 75 per cent surplus food is used in the preparation. In this way, not only is perfectly edible food saved from disposal, but it is also sensibly returned to the cycle of society. In this way, they also make a positive contribution to the climate.


In an interview with Berlin Partner, Alexander Piutti and Mirko Mann talk about their network in the "Best Practice Clip". Watch the video:


About SPRK:
The impact start-up, GmbH (SPRK), aims to redistribute food oversupply and eliminate food waste from the global supply chain over the long term. By reducing food waste, SPRK also reduces unnecessary CO2 emissions and saves natural resources, like water and energy. To achieve this, SPRK is developing an innovative distribution platform, using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The SPRK technology connects supply chain participants to ensure that food oversupply is redistributed quickly and in line with demand, with systematic consideration of non-profit organisations as demand partners. Worldwide, 1.6 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year, 12 million tonnes of which are wasted in Germany alone.

SPRK’s mission is closely aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particularSDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for theGoals). In July 2020, SPRK was selected out of 2,400 international applicants as a finalist in the Extreme TechChallenge (XTC)—the largest "Tech For Good'' competition for sustainable start-ups. With its impact-driven,innovative technology platform, SPRK went on to take first place in XTC’s “Smart Cities'' category.

About Optimahl Catering:
The organically certified Optimahl Catering GmbH from Berlin is one of the leading companies in the industry in Germany. Founded in 1994 as a small business by Mirko Mann and Ulrich Schulze, Optimahl today implements innovative catering concepts throughout Germany and Europe for its numerous clients from business, politics, society and sport. In 2019, the Optimahl team catered for almost 130,000 guests at nearly 1,000 events. At Optimahl, the best production conditions in one of the largest kitchens in Europe are in harmony with the highest demands on the quality of ingredients, food and staging. 


About Berlin Partner:

Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie is Berlin's economic development agency promoting the city's growth and innovation. Berlin Partner provides services to businesses and investors interested in coming to Berlin and with subsequent development at their new location. The experts at Berlin Partner furnish information on sources of funding, advice on searching for a suitable location or qualified personnel and network with partners working in the sciences. As a unique public-private partnership, Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie receives backing from both the State of Berlin and more than 270 companies committed to the city's growth. Berlin Partner is also responsible for marketing the German capital to the world, for example with the successful “be Berlin” campaign.


Press contact: GmbH
Claudia Wesemann
Head of Marketing & Communication
Phone: +49 171 95 08 224


Ann-Kathrin Marggraf
Communications Consultant
Phone: +49 172 575 6287


Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH
Lukas Breitenbach
Head of Press | Public Relations
Phone:+49 30 46302-599


Optimahl Catering GmbH
Janine Bäthge
Phone: +49 174 92 41 488


Social Media: GmbH
LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook


Instagram, Youtube and Facebook


Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube


Picture material:

  1. Portrait Alexander Piutti, Founder and CEO SPRK (top left)

  2. Portrait Stefan Franzke, CEO Berlin Partner (top middle)

  3. Portrait Mirko Mann, CEO Optimahl (top right)

  4. SPRK lunchbox for Meet & Eat (bottom left)

  5. Food oversupply in boxes (bottom right)

alexander piutti.jpg
Stefan Franzke.jpg