CEOs go head to head in Ready Steady CookOff challenge

Posted by on February 9, 2018

OzHarvest CEO Ronni Kahn and BP Australia’s Andy Holmes went head to head today in a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ style challenge to raise awareness and funds for OzHarvest’s upcoming CEO CookOff™. Top chefs Diana Chan (2017 MasterChef winner) and Thi Le from Anchovy helped the CEOs cook up a storm at BP headquarters in Melbourne.

The event launched BP’s fundraising campaign for Andy Holmes who alongside his team, plans to raise more than $50,000, which will help provide over 100,000 meals to people in need.

Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest CEO and Founder, said BP’s partnership with OzHarvest not only supports food rescue operations by fuelling the fleet of refrigerated vehicles all around Australia, but their financial support is crucial to help stage the annual flagship fundraising event. “The CEO CookOff is our flagship fundraiser and thanks to BP we can create a truly magical experience for over a thousand vulnerable people who are treated to a gourmet dinner created by top chefs and CEOs from across Australia. BP is leading the charge as both the presenting event partner and Andy’s fundraising goal!” said Ronni.

BP Australia President, Andy Holmes, kick-started his fundraising efforts with the ultimate pressure test in front of BP employees, as he cooked alongside MasterChef winner Diana Chan. “Whilst I’m not known for my culinary skills, with Diana by my side I’m quietly confident we can whip up a dish that will impress BP staff and raise funds for the cause,” said Andy.

BP’s partnership with OzHarvest and the CEO CookOff is proudly supported by Holmes who will represent the company at the main event in March, “The BP team is proud to support the incredible work of OzHarvest. We are also committed to expand the BP food rescue network over time and reduce food wastage at our sites. Last year’s CEO CookOff was such a great experience, I’d encourage other CEOs and business leaders to get involved.”

Fellow Melbourne business leader Bob Black, Group Chief Operations Officer of Australia Post will join Andy Holmes, Diana Chan and Thi Le at the CEO CookOff event on March 19. All funds raised by Melbourne based participants will contribute to OzHarvest food rescue in Melbourne which provides meals to 115 charity agencies across greater Melbourne.

There is still time to register to join this unique event


Posted by on October 10, 2016

Qantas donates 35 tonnes of food, signs up as ongoing OzHarvest food donor

Qantas has signed up as an ongoing food donor of Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest, after a successful one year trial that resulted in 35 tonnes of food being redistributed to people in need.

A team of Qantas and Food “ResQ” volunteers at Qantas catering centres in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, has developed a process to collect a variety of untouched food items from domestic flights, which is then picked up by OzHarvest vans and delivered to a range of charitable organisations.

Rescued food from domestic flights includes unopened food items and fruits – such as apples, bananas, muesli bars, breakfast cereal, baked goods and water cups. As a premium airline Qantas caters for every passenger on-board however not everyone chooses to eat when they fly, so this food is now collected as part of the Qantas Food ResQ program.

Alison Webster, Executive Manager Qantas Freight and Qantas Catering Group said the program has been a huge success to date with tonnes of food distributed to underprivileged school children, drought-affected families, refuge centres, youth centres and many more community causes.

“Every kilogram of food that can be rescued from a Qantas flight saves perfectly edible food from ending up in landfill which not only protects the environment but helps make a positive difference to the lives of those less fortunate,” said Ms Webster.

“The Qantas Food ResQ program is run by a terrific group of volunteers who treasure hunt through the catering boxes on the lookout for packaged items such as sweet treats and whole fruit to salvage.”

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn is constantly looking for innovative ways to tackle food waste in Australia and says the surplus items saved from the Qantas domestic food boxes make a real difference to those in need.

“OzHarvest collects surplus food from more than 2,000 food donors around the country. Thanks to the generosity of these food donors, rather than ending up as waste, this quality food feeds vulnerable women, men and children as well as reducing massive costs for food disposal.

“This type of collaboration shows a major commitment towards the national target of reducing food waste in Australia by 50 per cent by 2025.”


Qantas Food ResQ program facts:
• Qantas is the first of all food donors to establish a dedicated OzHarvest volunteer program, welcoming OzHarvest volunteers to carry out their community duties onsite.
• Food is collected from domestic Qantas flights. Custom and quarantine regulations currently prevent collection from International flights.
• Rescued food is delivered to more than one thousand school children each week (children that go to school with no breakfast, no school lunch or both)
• Additional community recipients include: Drought affected farmers, Indigenous communities, Woman Refuge Centres, Street Van Programs, Homeless, Youth Centres, ESL Schools and more
• Data and analytics captured from the Food ResQ program, has already led to greater business efficiency and cost savings within Qantas Catering.


Food waste facts:
• Approximately 8 to 10 billion dollars of food is wasted each year in commercial and residential waste. That’s around four million tonnes of food that ends up as landfill. (1.)
• Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. (2.)
• Australians throw out one out of every five shopping bags, which equates to every household throwing out $1,036 worth of groceries each year. (3.)
• Australia produces enough food to feed approx. 60 million people. (4.)
• Over 644,000 people now receive food relief each month, a third are children.
• Food relief agencies are not able to meet demand. A third more food is required to bridge the gap. (5.)
• Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. (6.)
• Australians throw out one out of every five shopping bags, which equates to every household throwing out $1,036 worth of groceries each year. (7.)
• Australia produces enough food to feed approx. 60 million people. (8.)
• Over 644,000 people now receive food relief each month, a third are children.
• Food relief agencies are not able to meet demand. A third more food is required to bridge the gap. (9.)


[1] ABS Australian Social Trends (2007), Hyder Consulting (2009), Australian DEWHA National Waste Report (2010), Australian DSEWPaC National Food Waste Assessment (2011), NSW EPA Food waste avoidance benchmark study (2009), Encycle Consulting (2013), Baker D, Fear J, Denniss R. What a waste: an analysis of household expenditure on food, The Australia Institute 2009.

[2] Global Food Losses and Food Waste – FAO, 2011

[3] NSW EPA Food waste avoidance benchmark study (2009)

[4] DAFF, National Food Plan 2012

[5] Foodbank, Hunger Report 2016

[6] Global Food Losses and Food Waste – FAO, 2011

[7] NSW EPA Food waste avoidance benchmark study (2009)

[8] DAFF, National Food Plan 2012

[9] Foodbank, Hunger Report 2016

OzHarvest Melbourne to host free food rescue feast for 1500 with local chefs at Think.Eat.Save event on Monday, 25 July

Posted by on July 21, 2016

Melbourne food personalities and leading chef, George Calombaris will join food rescue charity OzHarvest to feed up to 1,500 members of the public a free “rescued” meal at the State Library forecourt on Monday, 25 July from 11.30am – 2.30pm at Think.Eat.Save.

George Calombaris and his crew at Gazi and Hellenic Republic will be cooking a lamb and vegetable soup followed by a Chia pudding, to be complemented with a Thai pumpkin soup and Strawberry and vanilla yoghurt panna cotta cooked by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) with bread donated from Brasserie Bread. All meals will be created from rescued ingredients that would have otherwise ended up in landfill and served with the support of local personalities including Appetite for Excellence 2016 finalists Dave Parker (San Telmo & Pastuso), Mal Meiers (Fatto Bar & Cantina) and Thiago Miranda (Church Street Enoteca).

OzHarvest Think.Eat.Save supporter, author and media personality Alice Zaslavsky will lead formalities on the day including a live panel discussion on food waste, food security and sustainability with industry experts including OzHarvest ambassador and owner of recently closed Brothl Joost Bakker, Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (authors of “Foodprint Melbourne”) Jen Sheridan, cook, author, producer (Outback Spirit) and native foods advocate, Juleigh Robins and Woolworths Head of Community, Anna Lohe. Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley will be present to formally open the event.

Think.Eat.Save events taking place nationwide will see some of the nation’s top chefs, business leaders, politicians and celebrities unite to address the urgent issue of food waste, which is currently costing Australians up to $8 billion each year.

Partnering with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), OzHarvest is urging Australians to take action on food waste.

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn, said the aim of Think.Eat.Save 2016 is to bring attention to the alarming amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) is wasted or lost along the way.

“The current global and local food waste statistics are alarming,” Ms Kahn said. “We urgently need change to happen now to ensure a sustainable food system for future generations. This year at Think.Eat.Save we are urging Australians to make a dish using their leftovers, giving life to food that would otherwise have been wasted.

“These small efforts to reduce food waste create positive change and inspire others to take action about the urgent issue of food waste and food security.”

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved by making a personal pledge to change their eating behaviour and reduce food waste via #PledgeAPlate. You can pledge a plate by making a meal out of leftovers, rescued or saved ingredients, taking a photo and uploading it on social media with the hashtag #PledgeAPlate and fundraise via Those participating are then encouraged to nominate someone else to take part via social media.

To mark the fourth annual national Australian campaign to reduce food waste, OzHarvest will host 11 events across the country, feeding over 15,000 thousand people a free, delicious and hearty hot meal made from rescued produce and educating people about reducing food waste.

#PledgeAPlate Campaign Toolkits will be made available from July 25 at for businesses and schools to take action and get involved in the Think.Eat.Save campaign.


DATE: Monday, 25 July

TIME: 11.30am to 2.30pm

LOCATION: The State Library of Victoria forecourt, 328 Swanston Street

Lamb and vegetable soup, Gazi
Chia pudding, Hellenic Republic
Thai pumpkin soup, MCEC
Strawberry and vanilla yoghurt panna cotta, MCEC
Bread, Brasserie Bread

Alice Zaslavsky
George Calombaris
Dave Parker (San Telmo & Pastuso)
Mal Meiers (Fatto Bar & Cantina)
Thiago Miranda (Church Street Enoteca)

The national food waste reduction campaign is supported by Woolworths and Glad.


DATE & TIME: Monday, 25 July from 11.30am – 2.30pm (major cities)


Sydney event: Martin Place, Sydney
Adelaide event: The University of Adelaide Goodman Lawns, North Terrace
Brisbane event: St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane
Canberra event: Garema Place
Gold Coast event: The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
Melbourne event: The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
Newcastle event: Wheeler Place, Newcastle
Perth event: Forrest Place, Perth CBD
Regional Areas: Cairns, Sapphire Coast, Armidale

For a full list of events and information, please visit
Social media tags: @ozharvest @UN #thinkeatsave #pledgeaplate

Helping Food Rescue Charities Give Back To Local Communities

Posted by on June 30, 2016

A re-elected Turnbull Government will help local food rescue charities reduce costs and expand their services by providing $1.2 million over two years.

Every week, food rescue charities such as Foodbank, OzHarvest, Secondbite and Fareshare and their thousands of local volunteer workers deliver meals including fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, bakery and meat to Australians in need.

“The work of these charities is enormously important, producing clear social, environmental, health and economic benefits for Australia, and significant inroads towards mitigating food insecurity across Australia,” Minister Hunt said.

Minister Hunt and Mr Guest today visited OzHarvest’s new food rescue operations in Port Melbourne to announce that a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will provide $1.2 million over two years to support four food rescue charities to reduce costs by investing in solar, batteries and energy efficient refrigeration systems.

“Melbourne Ports has a number of charities that support people in need. This new funding will help food rescue charities support many more people in the local Melbourne Ports community,” Mr Guest said.

This funding will allow food rescue charities across the country to reduce costs at their food rescue centres in metro and regional Australia and expand their fleets of refrigeration vehicles.

“This is an enormously generous contribution from the Turnbull Government and will support actions by Secondbite and other charities to provide nutritious meals to even more Australians in need including homeless adults and youth, youth at risk, single parent households, women and families in crisis, people with disabilities, indigenous communities, new arrivals and long term unemployed,” Mr Ian Carson, Founder of Secondbite said.

“FareShare’s volunteers already cook rescued food into 25,000 free nutritious meals a week for hundreds of charities. But sadly it’s not enough to support the growing number of people who have fallen on hard times. This commitment will enable us to cook rescued food into 2 million hearty meals a year and make significant inroads the scourge of food poverty,” Marcus Godinho, FareShare CEO said.

A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will also work with states, community groups and businesses to develop a National Food Waste Strategy to work towards achieving a 50 per cent reduction in food waste.

“The need to reduce food waste is well known and significant. The United Nations has set a goal of reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2030 globally. We need coordinated action in Australia to work towards this goal,” Ms Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest CEO & Founder said.

At the next Meeting of Environment Ministers, the Commonwealth will seek agreement from State and Environment Ministers with the support of Australian Local Government Association to establish a goal of a 50 per cent reduction in food waste.

“To kick start the discussion I am releasing information on how every person, business and organisation can work together to reduce food waste,” Minister Hunt said.

In 2016-17 the Department of the Environment will convene a National Food Waste Summit bringing together all levels of government, industry and the community sector to develop a plan to reduce food waste by 50 per cent.

“As the largest provider of food relief, we believe bringing together states, territories and local governments, businesses and key community groups around the table is extremely important,” said Geoff Starr, CEO of Foodbank.

“The hidden crisis of hunger is growing and avoiding food waste will mean more food is available to go to the hungry.”

The Department of the Environment will also work with food waste charities to explore options to streamline the methodology for source separated organic waste under the Emissions Reduction Fund to make it easier for food waste charities to access the fund.

These actions build on the Coalition’s new commitments to reduce waste and increase recycling including funding of $100,000 to support the Banksia Foundation. The Banksia Foundation supports and recognises sustainable practices across Australia. OzHarvest won the 2012 Banksia Agriculture and Food Award for their work to support food rescue.

Funding for these projects has been provided for from within existing budget resources.

UFC teams with OzHarvest for Ultimate Cook Off

Posted by on November 17, 2015

Last Thursday UFC® made a financial contribution to OzHarvest through its UFC Community Works™ initiative. UFC Community Works™ is designed to make a meaningful impact on Australian communities where UFC events are held.

“OzHarvest simultaneously saves quality food from being sent to landfill landfills while making a positive impact in the lives of so many in-need Australians,” said Tom Wright, UFC® Executive Vice-President and General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

In support of the contribution, UFC® hosted an Ultimate Cook Off at Federation Square in Melbourne. UFC® athletes—including No. 1 UFC® heavyweight contender & former UFC® heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, No. 1 UFC® flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez, No. 1 UFC® strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha, No. 7 UFC® bantamweight contender Julianna Pena and UFC®lightweight Ross Pearson—split up into teams headed by local celebrity chefs Adam D’Sylva (CODA), Shane Delia (Maha) and Scott Pickett (Saint Crispin and Estelle). Each team was tasked with preparing the best meal using ingredients rescued by OzHarvest.

“The support from the UFC Community Works program will allow OzHarvest to deliver a further 30,000 more meals to Melbournians in need. We are so thrilled that UFC is committed to giving back to our local communities, to people in need and making a positive impact on the environment at the same time,” Ronni Kahn, CEO & Founder of OzHarvest.

OzHarvest successfully feeds ten thousand people using surplus at United Nations Think.Eat.Save events to fight food waste

Posted by on July 28, 2015

Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest fed more than ten thousand people across Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle and Perth yesterday at Think.Eat.Save events held simultaneously across the country, a collaboration with the United Nations to tackle the issues of food loss and waste, food security and sustainable food systems.

Taking place at Martin Place in Sydney, St Stephen’s Cathederal in Brisbane, Federation Square in Melbourne, The University of Adelaide, Garema Place in Canberra, The 4217 in the Gold Coast, Forrest Place in Perth, Hunter St Mall in Newcastle, as well as Sapphire Coast and Port Macquarie, the events were a collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the UN’s Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (SAVE FOOD).

Some of the nation’s top chefs including Neil Perry, Matt Moran, Peter Gilmore, Guillaume Brahimi, Somer Sivrioglu, Giovanni Pilu, Maeve O’Meara and Hamish Ingham, internationally acclaimed chef Diego Muñoz, as well as mayors, senators, MPs and celebrities united at the events to take a stance against food waste by serving members of the public a free, delicious and hearty hot meal made from surplus produce that would have otherwise ended up as landfill.

Food waste is currently costing Australians up to $10 billion each year, while two million people still rely on food relief.

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn said the aim of Think.Eat.Save 2015 was to bring attention to the disturbing amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) gets wasted and lost[1] along the way.

“Our modern day challenge is to create a sustainable food culture that can be shared and accessed by all and where less is wasted at all levels of food production, distribution and consumption,” Kahn said.

“The amount of support that we saw at Think.Eat.Save events across 10 locations around Australia yesterday proves that food waste and food security are issues that Australians care about. Beyond the event, each and every one of us should continue to consciously reduce food waste, both at home, at work or in our businesses and strive to affect change and positively impact our planet.”

Diego Muñoz, Head Chef of Astrid y Gastón, Lima Peru – recently voted #14 Best Restaurant in the World, who is in Australia exclusively for OzHarvest fundraising events until August 3, also participated in a panel discussion around food waste and food sustainability.

“What I found surprising when I went out on the van with OzHarvest to collect and deliver food, was the high quality of the produce that was going to be wasted. Instead OzHarvest was rescuing this food and providing it to people who need it, essentially giving this food another life and making people happy at the same time. It really touched me. Ronni Kahn and her team have created something brilliant, it just makes sense and it’s why I truly support the vision and this cause.”

For more information on OzHarvest or upcoming events featuring Diego Muñoz, please visit

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter @OzHarvest or Facebook or call 1800 108 006

Social media tags: #ozharvest #thinkeatsave @UNEP #SaveFood #UNFAO #FoodWaste @FAOKnowledge @FAOnews @save_food_news @NSW_EPA #LFHW

Thanks to Sydney Event Partners: NSW EPA, Virgin Mobile, Wild Foodies, Sydney Markets, ERM

See our full list of National Supporters here

View our Photo Collection from the events here

For more media information, images or interviews with Ronni Kahn, Founder and CEO of OzHarvest or Diego Muñoz, please contact:


Louise Tran at OzHarvest on [email protected] | +61 2 9516 3877 | +61 466 620 744

Meaghan Kemeny at Liquid Ideas on [email protected] | +61 2 9667 4211 | +61 413 858 818

[1] FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome. Food loss (FL): The decrease in quantity or quality of food. FL is mainly caused by the functioning of the food production and supply system or its institutional and legal framework. An important part of food loss is called food waste (FW) which refers to the removal from the supply chain of food which is fit for consumption by choice or has been left to spoil or expire as a result of negligence – predominantly but not exclusively the final consumer at household level. Source: FAO 2014