Harris Farm Markets’ new food range seeks to combat Australia’s growing $36 billion food waste problem.
Harris Farm Markets has announced the launch of Re-purposeful Picks, a product range made from upcycling perishable food items into premium quality products. Beginning with over 30 products, the 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. Harris Farm Markets is the first Australian major grocery retailer to release products of this nature, coupled with an ongoing program to consistently build reuse solutions to prevent food waste.
According to the 2021 National Food Waste Baseline, 7.6 million tonnes of food are wasted annually – 70 per cent of this is edible food and the retail sector contributes more than 500,000 tonnes. Research also indicates that 25 per cent of carbon emissions from food production are from wastage. Since 2014, Harris Farm Markets has reduced food waste by more than 31,000 tonnes through sustainability initiatives. It was the first chain store retailer to ban the plastic bag at the beginning of 2018, and the first to challenge established food perceptions on fruit and vegetables with its Imperfect Picks range in 2014. To date, Harris Farm has invested more than $16 million into these initiatives.
Harris Farm Markets co-CEO Tristan Harris said the business maintains a long-term commitment to sustainability, particularly with the new product range. “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,” he said.
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. “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.
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