OzHarvest is the first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia that collects quality excess food from more than 2,000 commercial outlets and delivers it, direct and free of charge, to more than 800 charities.
We provide much needed assistance to vulnerable men, women and children across Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle and Perth as well as regional areas through our regional food rescue program, REAP.
OzHarvest is the only food rescue organisation in Australia collecting surplus food from all types of food providers including fruit and vegetable markets, supermarkets, hotels, wholesalers, farmers, stadiums, corporate events, catering companies, shopping centres, delis, cafes, restaurants, film and TV shoots and boardrooms.
Our purpose is to Nourish Our Country.
OzHarvest has four pillars that direct the work that we do:
We are on a mission to eliminate hunger and food waste through the redistribution of quality surplus food. Likewise, to provide a framework for food rescue that can be replicated.
Educating and raising awareness about food waste, food rescue, food security and sustainability is central to our vision. Protecting and improving the environment through all our actions matters deeply to us. Promoting nutrition education is paramount. Providing hospitality training and mentoring for disadvantaged youth drives us onwards and upwards, together.
Embracing community support for OzHarvest lies at the heart of our purpose. We offer a range of opportunities for the community to engage with our family. In turn, the goodness spreads through our family, adding purpose to peoples’ lives through meaningful action.
Innovation is at the heart of what we do. Whether its finding new ways and solutions to combat food waste and hunger, to using technology to mobilise everyday Australians to take meaningful action. We pride ourselves on having created a unique for-impact, food rescue model which is being implemented and adapted across the globe.
The work we do has a four-fold impact:
- Quality food for charities – our food deliveries to charitable organisations enable them to provide a broad range of high quality food that was not available previously.
- Savings for charities – our food deliveries to charitable organisations enable them to redirect vital funding into education, rehabilitation and other programs, which directly benefit their clients.
- Helping the environment – by ensuring that good food is being eaten rather than going to landfill OzHarvest is minimising food waste and saving our environment by preventing tonnes of carbon emissions from polluting the atmosphere.
- Savings for food donors – our food donors benefit from reduced expenditure associated with the disposal of excess food, reduced food storage costs and the satisfaction of knowing they are making a valuable contribution to those in need in the local community.
OzHarvest and the UN
In 2013, OzHarvest was chosen as the official Australian partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to bring to life the global Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint campaign to an Australian audience.
In June 2013, OzHarvest was awarded the prestigious United Nations World Environment Day Award in the Community Category presented by Virgin Australia.
The award recognises the enormous achievements of OzHarvest and highlights the leading role this for-impact organisation plays in the world when it comes to sustainability.
OzHarvest together with the UNEP continue to work towards raising awareness on global food wastage, food security and environmental sustainability.
The way humanity manages or mismanages its food supply will in many ways define the 21st century—currently we know that we are not doing a great job with at least one third of all food produced lost or wasted. It is an ethical and economic challenge but also an environmental one: for example if food waste and loss was a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
We are delighted that OzHarvest and people across Australia are partnering with the UN on the global Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint campaign. All of us are connected to food and every one of us can make a difference in the lives of those in need and the health of our planet.
– Nick Nuttall, Global Director of Communications, United Nations Environment Programme
OzHarvest was founded in November 2004 by Ronni Kahn, who was named Australia’s Local Hero of the Year in 2010.
In 2005, Kahn together with pro-bono lawyers lobbied the state governments to amend legislation to allow potential food donors to donate surplus food to charitable organisations.
The Civil Liabilities Amendment Act was passed in NSW in 2005 with ACT, SA and QLD following. This ensured surplus food could be donated to charitable causes without fear of liability.
In 2015, OzHarvest lobbied Federal Parliament for a tripartite commitment to set a National Food Waste Reduction Target of 50 per cent by 2025 at Parliament House. Support from the Federal Environment Minister and cross-parties was committed by the Liberal National Party, Australian Labor and the Australian Greens.