27 July 2021
EnviroWaste partners with NZ Food Network to feed hungry Kiwis
EnviroWaste has joined NZ Food Network (NZFN) to put more food on the table for the thousands of Kiwi households experiencing food insecurity.
The new partnership will see EnviroWaste working with its large food production clients to actively divert edible food to NZFN before processing any remaining food in a sustainable way.
NZFN was launched in July 2020 to make it easier and more efficient for businesses to donate bulk surplus food to charities and communities in need. The NZ Food Network facilitates the safe transportation, storage and distribution of bulk surplus food from businesses. This bulk food is sorted into manageable, mixed pallets at NZFN distribution centres to fulfil a variety of nutritional needs.
These pallets are then able to be ordered as required in more manageable volumes, and at no cost, by NZFN’s network of now 50 Food Hub Partners across NZ. In turn, these Food Hubs work with food charities and agencies at the front line supporting our vulnerable communities.
The partnership has been formed to make it even easier for NZ food manufacturers and producers to do the right thing with food that can’t be sold. It offers a single point of contact through which any surplus food – regardless of state – can be diverted without further complication. Food that is edible will be distributed by NZFN to its Food Hubs while remaining inedible items will be securely repurposed, processed, or recycled by EnviroWaste typically at or below the cost of sending it to landfill.
NZFN CEO Gavin Findlay said “EnviroWaste’s strong history of food recovery and waste minimisation resonates with the NZFN, an organisation that effectively exists to get food to where it’s needed most. Partnering with EnviroWaste and its network of industry clients will help us channel more food to more vulnerable communities across the country.”
“We’re delighted to do our bit to support the nearly one-in-five Kiwis experiencing food insecurity,” James Rutter, EnviroWaste General Manager of Infrastructure, said. “Diverting edible or salvageable food to solutions, such as NZFN, should be at the top of every food manufacturer’s list – and only when that’s not possible or safe, should the food come through to EnviroWaste to be repurposed as stock-feed, composting, and vermiculture".
The collaboration with NZFN, follows ongoing work by EnviroWaste to help food manufacturers pursue a bolder vision for waste recovery and reuse to benefit both the community and environment.
But it has to be simple and efficient for the customer and that is where the partnership really comes into its own. “The diversion of all recoverable product and it’s packaging aligns with EnviroWaste’s values,” Spring Humphreys, EnviroWaste National Product Recovery Manager, said. “We dedicate substantial investment and resources to deliver the most innovative and sustainable solutions to ensure that we are capturing resources at their highest value, and that starts with feeding people.”
Early indications showed a genuine interest among EnviroWaste clients, with several already having diverted contributions to NZFN.
Rutter said “NZFN does great work and I’m sure our many food manufacturing clients will jump at the opportunity to redistribute surplus food to the people who need it.”
NZFN has distribution centres in Auckland and Christchurch. Additionally, they will be establishing a presence in Hawke's Bay later this year. Since its formation in July 2020, NZFN has rescued and redistributed the equivalent of over 3 million kilograms of food, provided 7.8 million meals, and saved 7.3 million kilograms of CO² emissions. EnviroWaste is excited to help drive these figures higher.
For more information about the partnership, please visit: https://www.nzfoodnetwork.org.nz/s/envirowaste-partnership or watch EnviroWaste partners with the New Zealand Food Network to feed hungry Kiwis
Below L to R: James Rutter, GM Infrastructure, EnviroWaste and Gavin Findlay, CEO, NZFN