How Youfoodz supports Australian farmers & fights the war on waste

How Youfoodz supports Australian farmers & fights the war on waste

It’s World Food Day! WTF is WFD, you ask? World Food Day celebrates the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, which plays a big role in overcoming global hunger and promoting sustainability.

Did you know the average household bin is 40% food wastage? Aussies actually throw out a whopping $8 billion of edible food every year! But with every Youfoodz meal prepped, cooked, and portioned to perfection, not a single bite goes to waste.

Youfoodz is always thinking about the future of food – everything from where we source fresh ingredients to how we pack and deliver our meals. We're passionate about making the world a better place, one meal at a time!

We caught up with Supply Chain Manager Kevin to get the lowdown on current Youfoodz initiatives that support local agriculture, reduce our carbon footprint, and help fight the war on waste.

 

Hey Kev! Can you tell us about the farms Youfoodz works with?

We’re huge supporters of Queensland farmers, being a Queensland company ourselves. All Youfoodz fresh produce is 100% Australian farmed. 

We’ve got particular farms with plots just for Youfoodz, so we have a huge impact on keeping some of these farms in business, and also a responsibility to them as well.

They heavily rely on us, and we heavily rely on them to produce some of the best veg in the country. 

 

How important is maintaining strong relationships with those farmers?

It’s incredibly important. It’s so good to do farm visits because they never usually get to meet the ‘customer’. They sell through agents, who sell to us.

I recently went out to a farm and did a 750km round-trip. The farmers opened up their home on a Sunday – their only day off – to take a visit from some guy from the city!

We’re much more emotionally connected to our farmers.

 

That’s so lovely to hear! Now let's talk R&R: reusing and recycling.

We really encourage our customers to leave their empty Youfoodz boxes and ice packs out for our drivers to collect, so we can reuse and recycle them back at HQ.

Every time we get brand new boxes, we return old boxes that can’t be used. We give all the old boxes to our polystyrene box supplier to melt down and reuse. It’s just trying to reduce our carbon footprint.

We’re currently looking at more environmentally friendly options to replace our poly boxes, but food safety is always our first priority. We’re very proactive about finding new solutions.

 

Exciting! What else is YF doing to cut down on plastic?

We now receive some of our condiments in 1000L vats or pallecon containers, which really reduces our cardboard and plastic usage. 

Each delivery removes more than 220 plastic bottles and 100 cardboard boxes, with the empty container sent back to our supplier to be re-filled. 

 

Are there any big initiatives around food donation?

Foodbank has been one of our key partners for donating finished goods that we don’t end up using. 

It comes as a flow-on effect if there’s any overcommitment on our end, but it’s really about turning what could be a negative into a positive!

For our TV commercial back in Winter, all of the farm-fresh produce we used also went to Foodbank within 48 hours as well.

 

What about food wastage from producing Youfoodz meals?

Our wastage is incredibly low. We minimise food wastage by working with other companies that can use whatever we can't. 

Broccoli stalks and other 'seconds' or 'ugly veg' that are still perfectly good to eat are saved and, instead of being thrown into waste, are prepped and cooked for other products separate to Youfoodz.

 

Last question! What happens to the unusable food leftovers?

We actually have a Pulpmaster machine that takes all the inedible veg offcuts to get pulsed, pulped, and put into a tank, which is collected once a week and then gets pumped into fertilisers.

It heavily reduces the amount of wastage that would otherwise go into landfill, and even has an impact on our carbon footprint as we can use smaller trucks with smaller tanks to take away the pulp, which really reduces the physical amount of waste.


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