June 15, 2024


Creative meets living

How new food waste initiative New Zealand Food Network aims to put an end to quality produce being rejected

It was those kinds of phone calls that spurred Findlay and his team to established up the New Zealand Meals Community, a sister enterprise to KiwiHarvest.  

The Foods Community received commenced in the early days of the pandemic and is a nationwide distributor of surplus foodstuff from massive producers.  

Findlay describes the Food Community as the “big wholesaler” in contrast to its sister corporation the “tiny localised retailer”. 

“There was a hole in currently being capable to deal with some of the huge volumes of foodstuff surplus that are created in the professional sector that we noticed heading off to landfill,” he states. 

That was an “absolute environmental menace”. 

But there was also huge social will need out there – persons are obtaining it extremely complicated to put suitable healthy food items on the desk. 

“We understood there was a massive quantity of food stuff surplus that just was not obtaining a dwelling – a pair of hundred pallets of item going to waste, 20 tonnes of fish, 50 tonnes of vegetables. That quantity just couldn’t be managed by any of the existing entities,” Findlay suggests. 

“If we [KiwiHarvest] couldn’t deal with that, no person else could.” 

In May possibly 2020, Findlay and his group ended up granted $5.5 million by the govt to established up the Food items Network. That revenue arrived from a $32 million package deal aimed at boosting food items protection. 

It is really the only organisation in the foodstuff rescue sector functioning at scale, with the capability to acquire stuff by the pallet load, then retail store it, stack it, refrigerate or freeze it – and mail it out to the 171 hubs close to the place.  

As a result of the hubs, the Food items Community has distributed additional than 11 million kilograms of foods, or practically 32 million foods. 

By carrying out this it has diverted the equivalent of a lot more than 17 million kilograms of carbon dioxide from landfill.  

The Food Community has 79 donors of surplus meals, predominantly large companies, growers, wholesalers and packhouses. At its warehouse in south Auckland, Findlay points out to The Depth how it receives, packs and repacks the bulk food items for the hubs. 

He says the quantity of food stuff rescued is still a portion of what is actually sent to the dump in both equally professional and house waste – and the Food stuff Community could take a lot more.