OzHarvest is a charitable Australian institution that is pioneering the movement to minimize food waste across Australia, by collecting excess food from commercial businesses and redistributing them to over 200 charities. They also implement initiatives and events nationwide such as #PledgeAPlate and serving 22,000 free meals to the public using perfectly healthy excess food that would have otherwise been sent to landfill.
One of OzHarvest’s most recent endeavours has seen them partnering with Australian airlines such as in Brisbane Airport, to collect and redistribute uneaten plane food such as sandwiches, biscuits, apples and muesli bars. The spread required to satisfy first class stock on hand means that there is often excess food that is either not put on the plane or is simply unopened. This, among other food on the plane, amounts to up to 400 kg of plane food each day that is scooped up by OzHarvest volunteers, and delivered to homeless charities or people in need less than 2 hours later.
Additionally, OzHarvest has helped airlines make their food consumption leaner and more efficient, by providing data on quantities, types, and dates of food that was deemed to be excess.
Food wastage costs Australia $AUD 8 billion per year
Food wastage costs Australia $AUD 8 billion per year, much of which stems from oversupply in supermarkets, strict food health and safety regulations in industry, and the general public’s negative misconceptions towards slightly more ripe food. The implications of this food wastage spread far and wide, from the wasted fossil fuel emissions that occur across the entire life cycle of food, from growing the crops, manufacturing packaging, transporting products, etc. etc., to the social imbalance and injustice as poorer demographic still starve. Charities like OzHarvest are doing their bit to minimize this kind of waste. As consumers, we should take note from this and learn to minimize our own waste habits, so that resources used to make food are more sustainably consumed, and are distributed more equitably to those in need.
We’ll be keeping you updated on these guys – they are truly part of The Collective Impact! In the meantime, to learn more about how you can help out with OzHarvest, or #PledgeAPlate, visit http://www.ozharvest.org/