Woolworths, the fresh food people, have today announced that they will commit to eliminate food waste that is sent to landfill by 2020 and will begin a new partnership with Australia’s leading local food rescue organisation, OzHarvest.
The new partnership sees OzHarvest become the principal partner for Woolworths to collect and distribute edible food to people who are in need across Australia.
Woolworths will engage their network of farmers, producers, manufacturers, employees and customers to help minimise food waste as well as supporting OzHarvest’s educational campaigns on food waste reduction, such as Think.Eat.Save, an initiative partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The partnership forms part of a larger commitment by Woolworths to eliminate food waste, which includes seeing edible food waste distributed by a number of organisations like OzHarvest, and other waste used for animal feed, commercial compost and power generation.
Managing Director of Woolworths Food Co, Brad Banducci, said “Woolworths is a part of nearly every community and our extended partnership with OzHarvest is a great way for us to help those in need while at the same time reducing waste.
“Our customers want to see us reducing our food waste. We’ll do that right through the supply chain from selling our Odd Bunch imperfect fruit and vegetables to donating food through OzHarvest, our other food rescue partners, and other initiatives like animal food and commercial composting.
“Our target remains ambitious but with great partners it is achievable,” he said.
OzHarvest’s CEO and Founder, Ronni Kahn, is thrilled at the Zero Food Waste by 2020 pledge from Woolworths, building on their existing decade-long partnership.
“This commitment from Woolworths is a huge advance in our collective fight against food waste. This partnership will allow OzHarvest to divert even more surplus food from landfill and further help Australians in need, addressing the broader issues of food waste, sustainability and food security.
In June, Environment Minister Greg Hunt, with the support of Labor and the Greens, said he was working to create a National Food Waste 2025 Strategy.
Ms Kahn said the charity was pushing for yearly waste to be cut by half by 2025.
“We must all take responsibility for the 4 million tonnes of food Australians send to landfill each year. Woolworths’ commitment to Zero Food Waste 2020 shows that they are serious about helping our environment as well as those in need. Now is the time for all Australians to get on board and reduce food waste!” Ms Kahn said.