According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UNFAO), fruit and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food, with almost half (45%) of all fruit and vegetables produced globally, going to landfill.
“Perfection Fresh aims to be socially and environmentally conscious across all areas of our packaging, products and processes in our business. It was an obvious decision to partner with Foodbank, as like them, we also want to help vulnerable Australians,” said Perfection Fresh CEO, Michael Simonetta.
“As we know, produce grows in all shapes and sizes, so the entire crop isn’t always suitable to retail outlets, despite still being suitable for human consumption. The thought that we supplied over 30,000 meals last year alone to those in need, is great for our moral and social conscience.”
The companies said in a statement Perfection Fresh has been proactively working with Foodbank since 2014 to help distribute much needed fresh fruit and vegetables to where it’s needed most. Modelling from the success and growth of the partnership in South Australia where the partnership was established, Foodbank now receives fresh produce donations from the Perfection Fresh network in NSW, VIC, QLD and WA. Perfection Fresh provides Foodbank with a variety of fresh produce from their range including tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, cucumbers and fruit salad.
“Based on the success of the Foodbank partnership in SA, Perfection Fresh is also making use of our other growing regions across the country, and we have now started to extend this partnership nationally across the vast array of products that Perfection Fresh grows and markets. Produce has a short shelf life and it is challenging to distribute in time to ensure that the product is still suitable, Foodbank’s process ensures this. We are excited to continue and grow our partnership with Foodbank,” he said.
Perfection Fresh said in a statement it also advocates for ending hunger and reducing food waste in Australia by promoting across the industry, that perfectly edible produce that doesn’t meet consumer specifications due to whatever reason, still has a very viable and meaningful purpose when it’s redirected and distributed to individuals and families in need through Foodbank.
“We can’t thank growers like Perfection Fresh enough for their incredible generosity which is helping us provide wholesome, nourishing produce to form the basis of a balanced meal for vulnerable Australians,” said Foodbank GM – National Supply Chain, Michael Davidson.
“Fresh produce is extremely valued and in very high demand by our charity partners, not merely in traditional metropolitan & outer fringe suburbs, but also in regional and rural South Australia. Whenever we receive fresh produce from Perfection Fresh, they literally fly out of our warehouses!” said Foodbank SA GM, Leigh Royans.
Foodbank works across the whole fruit and vegetable industry from paddock to plate to capture surplus, edible produce. The most in-demand produce items for Foodbank are potatoes, onions, pumpkin, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, bananas, apples and pears.