Did you know that out of the 7.6 million tonnes of food that goes to waste in Australia each year, around 70% is still edible? Clayfield’s Harris Farm Markets tries to make something out of these potentially usable food items through ‘Re-purposeful Picks.’
Re-purposeful Picks is a product range made from upcycling perishable food items into premium quality products with longer shelf life.
Beginning with over 30 products that are only available in-store, the Re-purposeful Picks range will extend the shelf life of items that would have otherwise been thrown away by up to two months. This includes upcycling fruit into smoothies, bread into breadcrumbs and vegetables on delicious pizzas.
As food waste differs from store to store based on the daily shopping lists and consumption of customers, Harris Farm Markets has equipped each store with the facilities to repurpose its food waste in-house to create this new range of upcycled products.
Harris Farm Markets Co-CEO Tristan Harris the Re-purposeful Picks range was created as a way for Harris Farm to take action at a store level to combat climate change, empowering each branch to reduce its daily food waste.
“Harris Farm has listened to the concerns of its customers about food waste in stores, and for more than a year we have been working on a way to make a meaningful impact without compromising our daily offering to customers,” he said.
“Through this new initiative, we will end up with less products on shelves that are nearing their expiry dates as items will be rotated sooner to create the Re-Purposeful Picks range. This means overall, we are creating longer life cycles to minimise food wastage across all 25 of our stores,” Mr Harris said.
Australia’s Food Waste Problem
Food waste costs the Australian economy more than $36 billion each year. The retail sector contributes more than 500,000 tonnes to this total according to the 2021 National Food Waste Baseline.
Harris Farm has been a pioneer in the retail space for sustainable initiatives, being the first chain store retailer to ban the plastic bag at the beginning of 2018 as well as the first to challenge established food perceptions on fruit and vegetable with its Imperfect Picks range in 2014.
To date, Harris Farm has invested more than $16 million into its sustainability initiatives, which have collectively eliminated over 31,000 tonnes of food waste.