Startup Yume joins forces with Suez on epic installation showing the scale of Australia’s food waste crisis


Yume founder and chief Katy Barfield and Suez chief for Australia and New Zealand Mark Venhoek. Source: supplied.

Surplus food reselling platform Yume has partnered with global waste management giant Suez on an installation intended to demonstrate the scale of Australia’s food waste problem.

According to Yume, 4.1 million tonnes of surplus food from the commercial sector goes to waste in Australia every year, accounting for 55% of all food waste in the country. Apparently, that’s about the equivalent of 560 semi-trailer loads.

The installation is intended to portray the literal car crash of the situation, showing two collided trucks with boxes of (presumably fake) apples, zucchinis and all kinds of other edibles going flying and scattering onto the tarmac.

Founded in 2016 by former SecondBite chief Katy Barfield, Yume provides an online marketplace allowing commercial food producers to sell surplus stock to retailers. Think salmon that’s too close to its use-by date to be accepted by the supermarkets being redirected to fill sandwiches at a chain of cafes.

To date, the startup has saved more than 1.3 million kilograms of food from landfill, while offering better deals to hospitality businesses and making sure the producers still make a cut ⁠— more than if they ditched it, at least.

In a statement, Mark Venhoek, chief of Suez in Australia and New Zealand, said he’s all for driving collaboration on tackling the food waste crisis.

“We need to start taking responsibility for all the waste we produce,” he said.

“And we can achieve this by joining forces to speed up the development of more advanced approaches to recycling in Australia.”

NOW READ: Maggots, mulch and meals: Meet four Aussie businesses committed to eliminating food waste

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