Page 21 - Food & Drink March 2020
P. 21

around $5 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers.
In December, Yume announced a partnership with waste management company Suez, to take the initiative even further.
“We identified Suez as being a leader in the field, and we found the team to be very genuine and authentic,” Barfield says.
“Suez is at the front line – they see how much is being disposed. Part of the reason we are working with them is to speak to those companies before it gets to the disposal stage.”
In Australia around 4.1 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year, with 55 per cent occurring in the commercial food sector, the equivalent to
560 semi-trailers going to waste every day. “It should be global news, but it’s not,” says Barfield.
Suez manages waste for six of the top 14 food manufacturers in Australia, which creates the opportunity for ingredients and products to go to Yume to be sold and used, rather than to landfill.
Barfield says: “It means we can
fast track the conversations, contact these companies and
see how the food products can
be used better, rather than going to waste. Food waste creates methane, which is worse than CO2 and can be disastrous because it can’t break down, due to the lack of oxygen underground.
“The Yume platform is all about the ingredients producers have, excess or imperfect, and moving them quickly to other manufacturers, commercial kitchens, and independent retailers who need those products, while ensuring it is safe for human consumption.”
At the heart of the Yume and Suez strategic partnership is the shared commitment to raise awareness about preventing quality food from going to waste. Barfield was also taken by the fact Suez had a landfill diversion manager.
Suez CEO ANZ Mark Venhoek told Food & Drink Business the role was created to enhance education and provide solutions to clients and customers on
how they can reduce their environmental footprint.
Barfield says that finished goods, such as chips, biscuits or cream cheese, can often end up in waste if they are initially intended to be consumer-facing on-the-shelf.
If the pack has product information in a different language, or an error in the labelling, the products can be dumped because it may be too expensive for a company to move or donate.
“We moved an entire consignment – around 550,000 packs – of these unlabelled pouches of fifty-gram tuna that were meant to be used for salad packs, but the product was discontinued,” says Barfield.
“The tuna packs went to sandwich manufacturers and then from there, were resold through Harris Farm stores. We’re a social enterprise and we are doing this to ensure a sustainable planet, but we also want to make sure it is done so safely from supplier to end consumer, as well as meeting all the industry needs.”
For Barfield, there is one potential partner that could take
large consignments on a regular basis at a greater scale – the government.
“Prisons, hospitals, care facilities – the biggest procurer of food is the government and they have the largest demand from the greatest number of people in the country,”
says Barfield.
“They need to be on this platform, not only because they will be saving money and the planet, but the money they spend will go back into our economy and directly to the Australian manufacturers and farmers producing it. We would be able to move the dial on food waste in a sizeable way.”
“ The government needs to be on this platform, not only because they will be saving money and the planet... We would be able to move the dial on food waste in a sizeable way.”
Venhoek says: “Assisting with landfill diversion can mean developing an education or awareness campaign to lower contamination rates in our customer’s waste streams. Working with our customers we can develop a closed loop program diverting food waste from landfill and returning it as compost.
“We also carry out regular site audits and inspections in relation to waste management and work with our customers and partners to develop solutions to increase diversion from landfill.”
Barfield says the partnership between Yume and Suez aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by promoting responsible production and consumption (SDG 12). While it is a step forward, Barfield says the government needs to “lead the charge” in combatting the issue for good.
“People care about the planet and about making a difference, and we need to make sure we aren’t asleep at the wheel.” ✷
ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS | March 2020 | Food&Drink business | 21

   19   20   21   22   23