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Australia: Foodbank and Perfection Fresh tackle food waste
The 2017 Hunger Report by hunger relief organisation Foodbank stated that 3.6 million Australians experienced food insecurity at least once during that year, and over 652,000 people receive food relief every month.
Foodbank and Perfection Fresh are working together to tackle this issue, distributing fresh produce to Australians in need. Originally established in 2014, Perfection Fresh has been providing Foodbank with a variety of fresh produce donations including tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, cucumbers and fruit salad.
Perfection Fresh CEO Michael Simonetta said the partnership made sense because their values align.
“Perfection Fresh aims to be socially and environmentally conscious across all areas of our packaging, products and processes in our business. It was an obvious decision to partner with Foodbank, as like them, we also want to help vulnerable Australians.”
The two companies plan to build on their success in South Australia and expand their reach using Perfection Fresh’s vast network across NSW, Vic, Qld and WA.
“Based on the success of the Foodbank partnership in SA, Perfection Fresh is also making use of our other growing regions across the country, and we have now started to extend this partnership nationally across the vast array of products that Perfection Fresh grows and markets. Produce has a short shelf life and it is challenging to distribute in time to ensure that the product is still suitable; Foodbank’s process ensures this. We are excited to continue and grow our partnership with Foodbank,” he continued.
About 45% of all fruit and vegetables produced globally end up in landfill, making it the most wasted food, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UNFAO). However, it is also the food that is most sought after by food relief recipients.
Produce that fails to meet the high aesthetic standards required by consumers today is partially responsible for this waste. Both companies agreed that edible produce rejected by consumers should be reallocated to those who need food relief.
“As we know, produce grows in all shapes and sizes, so the entire crop isn’t always suitable to retail outlets, despite still being suitable for human consumption. The thought that we supplied over 30,000 meals last year alone to those in need is great for our moral and social conscience,” Simonetta explained.
Foodbank SA GM Leigh Royans also said: “Fresh produce is extremely valued and in very high demand by our charity partners, not merely in traditional metropolitan and outer fringe suburbs, but also in regional and rural South Australia. Whenever we receive fresh produce from Perfection Fresh, they literally fly out of our warehouses!”
According to Foodbank, the products in highest demand are potatoes, onions, pumpkin, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, bananas, apples and pears, but they encourage any donations that are fit for human consumption.
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