A new partnership between a leading Australian stone fruit grower and one of the country’s most popular ice cream brands has helped save imperfect premium plums that were destined for landfill this summer.
Montague and Peters Ice Cream have launched frozen fruit sorbet sticks called Rescue Pops-Plums Up, and Peters Country Head, Emma-Jane Collins says the partnership shows how brands with aligned values can work together to minimise waste in a creative, delicious way.
"It all started when the Foodbank CEO of Victoria, David McNamara, gave me a call to say that they had a conversation with the team at Montague around the waste that goes around plums," she said. "He thought it would be a great idea for our companies to come together and have a chat. Montague had already done a project around waste and what they could do to rescue the plums, and that's where we came in. We're really proud that between the two businesses, we've created this from start to finish. I think the name 'Rescue Pops' says it all and really describes what the project is; we have rescued plums from going to landfill and we have put them in a delicious sorbet. The message is clear and simple for people to understand without overloading them with information."
In Australia, 7.6 million tonnes of food waste ends up in landfill each year, equalling about 312kg per person. Much of this waste is perfectly edible but rejected due to minor blemishes and imperfections. Stone fruits like plums are one of the most common fruits to end up in landfill as they are prone to bruising, are highly perishable and have limited opportunities for juicing or repurposing.
"We are really thrilled with the outcome of the product, it's a very delicious sorbet and the plum taste really comes out," Ms Collins said. "We find them refreshing, the texture is great with sorbet, it's quite unique to the category. We just think it's a beautiful product. The reason we chose to rescue plums for this project is because they are more perishable than other fruits, with less options to extend their shelf life or be repurposed into products such as juice or cider. But there are certainly other fruits (like peaches, nectarines and pears) that also end up in landfill. If consumers love Rescue Pops-Plums Up as much as we do, there is definitely an opportunity to look into extending the range into other fruit flavours."
As well as saving imperfect Australian plums from landfill, Peters will assist in closing the loop on food waste by funding 200,000 meals for Australians in need through Foodbank.
Montague Managing Director, Scott Montague agrees that partnerships like this one can help make a difference, even if it is just by salvaging one unique fruit at a time.
"The intention behind Rescue Pops was reducing food waste," he said. "Around 30 per cent of all plums and stone fruit in Australia goes to some form of landfill, so this is a great sustainable effort to reducing food waste. The fruit often only gets rejected because of small cosmetic issues, but this is a way to turn premium Montague plums into a great-tasting product. So much stone fruit in this country goes to waste because we have high expectations of what it should look like on the retail shelf, despite the fact they (blemished fruit) eats just as good as any other piece of fruit. This is a terrific opportunity to make something special out of that fruit."
Woolworths supermarkets are exclusively selling this product nationally.
For more information
Peters Ice Cream Australia
Phone: 1800 633 200 (within Australia)