The truth of food waste in Australia
Australia is a wonderful diversity country, where a lot of delicious restaurants from over the world. We all love eating out and buying from the supermarket. But, do you know how much food is wasted in Australia?
In fact, Australians discard 8 billion EDIBLE food every year, and up to four million tonnes of food is wasted. A striking data shows Australians squander more than 20% of the food they buy. Some food is thrown out before the best before date mistakenly.
People cook too much food and even don’t know how to deal with leftovers. Do you experience this? Buying plenty of cooking materials on sale, and then eating takeaways replace cooking at home. All of them brings a huge waste in Australia.
A report of the Department of the Environment and Energy reveals the extreme weather of climate change and global warming have been seriously impacted by wanton food loss.
The rescue supermarkets are developing around the world.
In recent years, rescue supermarkets are new trend opening from Europe to Australia. On February 4th, German had the first supermarket which sells salvaged food, including vegetables, salt and even beers. DW (Made for minds) reports that it is “a tiny step for creating a zero-waste society.” It expects to raise social awareness of re-using food within used by date. This market caused a sensation and attracted more people paying attention to their daily waste.
Something you have to know about OzHarvest rescue supermarket
After Europe, OzHarvest launched their first rescue supermarket in Sydney in May, whose aim is providing surplus food by donated to needy people and reducing huge food waste in Australia.
OzHarvest delivers rescue food to charities for vulnerable people in Australia. They think not all people use charities so a rescue supermarket can make people buying and donating directly to help others.
As we see, everything is donated. Food and essentials are collected by cafés, restaurants, companies and supermarkets in local area every day.
“This space is currently being donated by the property group, and downstairs which is used to be a Chinese restaurant. Maybe we did a restaurant. However we saw the supermarket is best for this space,”- Fiona, the manager of Communication, Media and PR.
The supermarket looks not like our imagine and also not like Coles and Woolworth. Its space is bright and spacious where volunteers friendly serve for customers. Especially, a range of food are artfully and orderly organised on shelves such as oatmeal, bread, tuna tins and so on without the price tags and promotion labels.
There is no cashier and only a donating box on the service desk. Fiona said some customers just given a hundred dollars as a donation and say ‘Keep up the good work’. Some people come in, those who have no money but volunteers absolutely service for them. Volunteers wouldn’t like to judge un-paying customers because they also contribute to reduce food waste.
“If you have no money, you don’t need to pay. You can pay something, we love donation.”- Fiona
“I would like to shop here, I am an overseas student, my living costs are limited from my parents. Most of the time, I’m waiting for discounts in Coles because I want to save more money to pay my rental fees,”- Daniel, a regular buyer studying at UTS.
“Now, I don’t need to waste time for waiting discount, I come here to buy food and essentials. Sometimes, paying 50%-70% of original price. I saved money and didn’t feel guilty because I also try my best to donate in a corrective way.”- Daniel
On the other room, a lounge is beside the shopping area, which provides chairs, tables, microwave oven and coffees. This is an excellent place for people chatting with friends and reading newspapers.
“This is not a supermarket. It is a community for us. I like to be there and talk with people, trying to find how to help them. Sometimes, I found people who just feel lonely so they come here,” – Daniel.
Fiona said this supermarket is powered by volunteers. Their volunteers are diversity, whatever the race, colour and gender, and speak different languages such as English, Spanish and Mandarin, and provide service one by one from various universities, suburbs and communities in Sydney.
“We help people shopping here and walk around the store with them. We want to introduce ourselves and make sure how much they are taking, especially those in need. We help to stock the shelves, tidy things up that make them visually.”- Hegel, a volunteer in OzHarvest supermarket.
What do people think?
Most of the people post so many positive and inspired comments to OzHarvest on social media, and give their perspectives.
— Lawrence Goldstone (@lgold5tone) April 26, 2017
“You know, I am really excited about this supermarket because I am running a business in Australia. Some food just exceed the best before date, but it is still good quality within the use by date. Many customers wouldn’t like to purchase them in spite of offering 20%-30% discount. – Elmer, a entrepreneur running food business in Sydney.
Facing the embarrassing situation, Elmer seemingly found a perfect way to tackle over stocks. He expects his company could donate and cooperate with OzHarvest supermarket.
“I am quite willing to donate. Obviously, it is a effective way to encourage people donate regularly because they can get something they want. This is a physical store, our donation would be seen the effects directly. We no longer fear how the donating money used by charities.- Elmer
Who is the OzHarvest?
OzHarvest is the leading non-profit organization in Australia, which collect quality food within the use by date from all around Australia and directly donate up to 900 charities who support in need.
Ronni Kahn founded OzHarvest in 2004, who was named Australia’s local hero in 2010. Kahn lobbied the NSW Government to make amend that allowing food is directly donated to charity organisations. In 2005, NSW passed the Civil Liabilities Amendment Act, which ensured donators no longer fear liability to donate food to the rescue organisation.