The new IoT device and Telegram Bot against food waste


How Milan’s pilot is fighting against food waste in the wholesale market by tracking, recovering and facilitating the redistribution and donation of surpluses.

Botto has been designed and developed by OpenDot fab lab. It is a product-service that facilitates the flow of communication between wholesalers, the association RECUP that acts as intermediate for the donation of surplus fruit and vegetables, and the Italian Red Cross. OpenDot together with the partners of the Milan pilot have worked to make the city of Milan more sustainable by analysing and intervening on the food flow in both urban and peri-urban areas.

Why we’re here

The Milan Pilot – Food Market 4.0 – wants to support the transition to a circular agri-food system through co-creation, co-design processes and democratized technological advancements. The Pilot aims to provide sustainable solutions at the local market level, foster and test sustainable food logistics to disseminate circular practices. The goal is to respond to the complex problem of food waste in urban markets with simple and innovative solutions by involving all the stakeholders from an early stage.

How will the work from your pilot contribute towards REFLOW’s mission?

OpenDot has performed field research with the Municipality of Milan and interviewed stakeholders of the food supply chain, namely, the local markets, So.Ge.M.I and the wholesalers, RECUP volunteers and the Italian Red Cross.

SogeMi is the corporation that runs the city’s four wholesale agricultural and food markets – for fruit and vegetables, fish, meat and flowers – on behalf of the municipality of Milan, supporting and managing their spaces, internal logistics and services to suppliers and to the public.
Analysing the processes and conducting participatory sessions, it became clear that the intervention was required in the wholesale fruit and vegetable market of Milan. There was a need for a solution capable of enabling a virtuous process thanks to a simple, fast and intuitive service: Botto.

BOTTO is an IoT technology device similar to a remote control designed to provide wholesalers and local producers with a quick and easy way to communicate what and how much of their surpluses can become a donation, simply by pressing a button. BOTTO sends the message to the ReflowOS digital platform monitored by a Telegram Bot, which reports the new donations, enables and facilitates the redistribution of selected goods in less than 30 minutes.

Our objectives

OpenDot has started a series of co-design tables with the different stakeholders in order to map all the steps of the process, facilitate the circular flow and optimise time and resources management. Collaborating with Foody So.Ge.M.I. helped us understand the flow of goods and define the area of intervention.

In the meantime, RECUP, the Milanese association that fights food waste and social exclusion by operating in the local markets, entered Foody So.Ge.M.I. as intermediate to intercept surpluses and donate them to the Italian Red Cross, which in turn distributed it in contexts with more fragility. The Botto system aims to facilitate the flow of communication of donations between all these actors.

Opendot is now testing Botto in the wholesale market Foody, together with three wholesalers, RECUP and the Italian Red Cross. The test will monitor and collect data which will also be accessible in a dashboard that shows the quantity of food received, selected, donated and eventually wasted.


Who we’re collaborating with:

  • Municipality of Milan
  • Market of Milano Foody SO.GE.M.I and wholesalers
  • OpenDot fab lab for co-design sessions, design, prototype and test of Botto
  • RECUP association and volunteers
  • Italian Red Cross for the donations system

Milan Pilot

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