Despite advances in supply chain knowledge and technology, there are situations where perfectly edible food cannot be distributed for sale. A run of breakfast bars is missing the nuts, a consignment of soup has the wrong label, pallets of cake mix are too close to their ‘Best Before’ date or thousands of cartons of juice have on-pack details of a competition that closed last month.
What does the food company do? Dump the product and bear the transport and tipping costs or see the error as an opportunity to help people in need at the same time as avoiding an environmental tragedy?
Every year many Australian food companies, with the help of Foodbank, divert thousands of tonnes of food from going to landfill and give it a new purpose – to help feed people who would otherwise go hungry.
By doing so they reduce costs, avoid further contributing to the pressure on landfill space and reduce the production of the greenhouse gas methane which results from waste decomposing.
But that isn’t the whole story. When food doesn’t realise its aim of being eaten, the massive resources it took to produce that food in the first place are also wasted. That includes the water and energy that went into all the steps from paddock to plate including production, processing, storage, refrigeration and transportation of the food.
Not only does foodbanking help to address the issue of hunger in Australia but it’s also good for the environment.