OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO HOSPITALITY Ronni Kahn
“I believe there are two kinds of people in the world,” says waste activist and restaurateur Joost Bakker, a past recipient of this award and an OzHarvest ambassador. “People who live, and people who change the way we live. Ronni Kahn is definitely one of those rare people who is truly a game-changer. Dynamic, driven, highly intelligent and most importantly street-smart.
“What impresses me most is her ability to cut through bureaucratic bullshit while also understanding that change takes time. Patiently grinding away at those energy-sapping processes that would make almost anyone else give up in despair.
“Today it’s hard for us to comprehend how difficult it really was to simply rescue food – an idea so simple, pure, logical and practical, an idea that just makes sense. Before Ronni’s work this was a legal minefield, made so by a raft of different legislation in different states around Australia.
“Ronni’s passion comes from deep. Her family are, I believe, a catalyst for her work, and fuel her motivation for improving the world. To date, more than 60 million meals have been created for the people who need it most, made with 20,000 tonnes of food waste intercepted by her brilliant organisation, OzHarvest.
“I also believe Ronni’s ability to access people heading up some of Australia’s largest companies and make them aware of the compounding and massive effect tiny changes can have has also resulted in overhauls to systems that not only reduce food waste, but also the non-food waste generated by existing food systems, such as plastic bags.
“Ronni’s story is a brilliant example of what can be achieved with perseverance. OzHarvest’s momentum continues to build, and I can’t wait to see her ideas grow and create an even more positive effect, and in the process feed the people in our community who desperately need it.”