A new Tim Tam biscuit is underscoring a bid to save tens of thousands of tons of Australian fruit rejected by supermarkets at the peak of growing seasons. Stuart and Allison McGruddy launched a war on waste by freezing fruit and they were rewarded: biscuit maker Arnott's has used 20 tons of the fruit the couple saved in their new, limited-edition Sunshine Coast Strawberries and Cream Tim Tam.
When McGruddy and wife Allison and returned to work on the family's farm eight years ago, they were shocked at the amount of perfectly ripe Australian fruit being rejected just because it didn't meet supermarket specifications.
FoodWise estimates 20 to 40 per cent of fruit and vegetables is rejected even before it reaches the shops for not being up-to-scratch aesthetically.
"Like after the needle incident a couple of years ago, people got to see just how much strawberry waste happens in the industry, and it is the same with bananas and mangoes."
Mrs McGruddy stated that their raspberries were, for the most part, still really of beautiful and suited for processing. "Not long after that we had the 2015 outbreak of hepatitis A that was caused by contaminated berries produced in China, and we thought: we need to do something about this. Let's get an Australian offering, so that's basically the premise behind our business."
This is how they ended up founding My Berries, and freeze and bag a growing range of Australian-farmed fruit in a small factory near Bribie Island.