Leading foodservice supplier, Unilever Food Solutions, has joined forces with OzHarvest to create an exclusive hospitality industry campaign for Australian food service professionals. The Food Collective initiative will raise much-needed funds for OzHarvest whilst encouraging chefs to effect positive change within kitchens across the country.
A recent study conducted by Dianne McGrath and a team of researchers at Melbourne’s RMIT University named, “Watch my Waste”, showed that the majority of restaurants and cafes across Australia were throwing away at least 40% of food purchased for service; that’s up to 316g per cover or 24% of the entire weekly turnover. As well as helping a venue’s bottom line, being conscious of food waste can also make a valuable difference to the environment and those in our communities.
With supermarkets across Australia rising to the food waste challenge, chefs are encouraged to join the Food Collective by donating surplus food, minimising food waste to landfill and understanding how food waste can be better managed in their kitchen.
OzHarvest, Australia’s first perishable food rescue organisation, was founded in 2004 by Ronni Kahn. In 2005 Kahn, and a team of pro-bono lawyers, successfully lobbied to amend legislation which would allow potential food donors to donate surplus food to charitable organisations, without fear of liability. Just over ten years later, OzHarvest now collects over 87 tonnes of quality excess food from more than 2,000 commercial outlets and delivers it to more than 900 charities across the country every week
Unilever Food Solutions is a well-known foodservice supplier and is responsible for many of Australia’s top industry ingredients brands. The partnership between Unilever Food Solutions and OzHarvest, the Food Collective campaign, has the opportunity to raise much needed revenue for the charity, whilst increasing awareness on how commercial kitchens can reduce waste and redirect any surplus foods to people in need.
For each case of Unilever Food Solutions product that a venue purchases, 50c will be donated to OzHarvest, enabling the charity to deliver a nutritious meal to someone in need. With each purchase, foodservice venues can also accumulate reward points that can be used to redeem items in an online rewards shop, or they can choose to redeem their points for OzHarvest merchandise which translates into generating even more meals for people in need.
“Unilever Food Solution’s commitment to OzHarvest and the Food Collective showcases industry leadership on minimising food waste as well as helping vulnerable Australians,” said OzHarvest CEO and Founder, Ronni Kahn. “By ordering products from the Unilever Food Solutions range, the hospitality industry can support the important work we do feeding those in need, while also understanding how to reduce their food waste.”
Unilever Food Solutions has committed to helping OzHarvest provide 200,000 meals between now and December 2017.
“Reducing food waste is one of the big challenges facing the hospitality industry,” said Unilever Food Solutions Managing Director, Yezdi Daruwalla, “Food has a high carbon ‘footprint’, and so while most people think of only the disposal expenses, the costs are actually much higher. It requires considerable energy to grow, harvest, transport, process, package, retail and prepare food, so wastage has a serious impact on our planet. When there are still so many people going hungry across our nation, we believe that the industry needs to gather, and as a collective, effect positive change. We hope to help start this by raising awareness and encouraging the industry to reassess how they treat their surplus food.
OzHarvest makes it so simple for foodservice venues to get food picked up, so there shouldn’t be any reason why the entire industry is not regularly supplying OzHarvest with excess food. Waste should not be a dirty word; whilst it should be minimised, it’s the reality of the industry. We challenge all chefs to join the Food Collective and start being smart about food waste.”
Chefs and cooks across all types of foodservice venues are encouraged to support this simple, yet effective movement and become leaders in their industry. Join the Food Collective by visiting www.foodcollective.com.au, or get in touch with a Unilever Food Solutions sales representative or call 1800 006 838.