How we’re combatting Perth’s protein shortage
Still providing crucial food relief support
If you’ve noticed the shelves looking a bit leaner in the meat department lately, you’re not alone. The rising cost of living, together with COVID-fuelled stock efficiency controls by retailers, has impacted the availability of protein. And yes, we’ve felt the ripple effect too. But fear not, because we’re not just here to talk about the issue; we’re here to show you how we’re tackling it head-on.
Understanding the Shortage: A Tale of Two Forces
Two main forces are at play in this protein shortage:
1. Supply efficiency
Retailers have fine-tuned their inventory management to perfection, which is great for their operations, but it has resulted in fewer leftovers that were traditionally donated to us.
2. Changing shopper behaviour
Remember the days when prime steak and lamb chops were the stars of the shopping cart? With the cost of living constantly on the rise, many of us are opting for wallet-friendly alternatives like mince and sausages. The outcome? The meat that used to be abundant in donations is now becoming increasingly scarce.
The reality is that the demand for meat has outstripped available donations. Compared to this time last year, protein donations have dropped 21%, while the need for our services has increased 31%. And let’s not forget the 60% surge from the year before that. The numbers are telling us a clear story – we’re facing a challenge, but we’re also stepping up to meet it. To make sure no one goes without this essential, we’ve adopted a multi-faceted approach:
Purchasing protein: Through Foodbank Australia’s national buying program, we’re securing 8 pallets of mince and 3 pallets of sausages each month. This initiative guarantees a steady supply of protein options on our shelves.
Strong partnerships: Our annual partnership with West Pork and Dardanup Butchering Company is in full swing, bringing in deliveries of 400 head of pork.
Active supplier engagement: We’re not waiting idly; we’re in active discussions with suppliers, exploring innovative sourcing avenues and maximising our funding to ensure a consistent protein flow.
Accessibility matters: While tackling the protein shortage is a priority, so is making sure everyone can access it. We distribute the purchased meat to our customers at cost, ensuring that it remains affordable and accessible.
The protein shortage challenge isn’t just about numbers; it’s about our community’s wellbeing. But we’re not just here to weather the storm – we’re here to emerge stronger, more resilient and better equipped to ensure that everyone has access to nourishing, protein-rich meals.
So, the next time you peruse our shelves and notice a bit less meat than usual, know that we’re working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that you, your family and our entire community can still enjoy the benefits of a wholesome and balanced diet. Because together, we’re not just overcoming challenges – we’re building a healthier, more resilient future.