Group puts food back on

OzHar­vest works to re­duce food waste

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - . CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER Cas­san­dra.glover@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

AUS­TRALIANS waste

5.3 bil­lion tonnes of food ev­ery year.

It’s a shock­ing statis­tic and one that OzHar­vest, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, is work­ing hard to re­duce.

For the last 30 years OzHar­vest has been col­lect­ing food prod­ucts from farm­ers, su­per­mar­kets, whole­salers, cafes and restau­rants and events, which would oth­er­wise be dumped in land­fill. They then re­dis­tribute that food in re­frig­er­ated vans to char­i­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions that are feed­ing peo­ple in need.

OzHar­vest spokeswoman Fiona Nearn said OzHar­vest had dis­trib­uted 88 mil­lion meals and saved 33,000 tonnes of food from land­fill since con­cep­tion.

“We have a na­tional tar­get now to halve food waste by

2030,” she said.

“We’re work­ing as closely with the gov­ern­ment as pos­si­ble to achieve that goal.

“But change is re­quired across ev­ery level, in­clud­ing the con­sumers at home.”

Ms Nearn said half of the na­tional food waste was com­ing from the con­sumer.

“I think peo­ple have lost the value of food and their con­nec­tion with food,” she said.

“It’s in abun­dance and it’s avail­able 24/7 and it’s fairly cheap.

“So it’s be­come a men­tal­ity now that food can be wasted.”

Ms Nearn said food waste cost the econ­omy $20 bil­lion a year, and it was cost­ing house­holds thou­sands of dol­lars a year.

OzHar­vest has been op­er­at­ing in Queens­land for the past seven years. In that time it has de­liv­ered

15 mil­lion meals com­prised of

1.3 mil­lion kilo­grams of res­cued food.

“In Queens­land we have 13 re­frig­er­ated ve­hi­cles,” Queens­land state man­ager Amy Cobb said.

“We have a van in Cairns, we have a van on the

PHOTO: NIKKI TO

FOOD RES­CUE: OzHar­vest has saved 33,000 tonnes of food from land­fill.

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