Sydney, Australia: From now until September, OzHarvest is partnering with profit-for-purpose coffee shop, Gratia café in Surry Hills for a pop-up “OzHarvest Café by Gratia” with 100% of the profits donated back to OzHarvest, you won’t be able to miss the café on the corner with OzHarvest’s signature yellow makeover.
OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. Founded in 2004, the organisation saves quality excess food from commercial companies which are then delivered to more than 1000 charities supporting people in need. An astonishing 100-plus tonne of food is salvaged on a weekly basis.
In a partnership that makes perfect sense, OzHarvest is collaborating with for-love-not-money cafe Gratia, giving its customers the power to connect with the community in a positively impactful way. Since 2015, the cafe – and its evening restaurant and bar Folonomo – donated profits to over 80 charities and assisted with practical training for over 57 refugees and long-term unemployed people.
We were lucky enough to attend the media launch of OzHarvest café by Gratia and test out some of the items on the menu which were incredibly tasty. I’m always partial to breakfast given it’s my fave meal of the day and the sustainable creations by OzHarvest’s executive chef, Travis Harvey really hit the spot. His clever culinary skills made for a delish fare. Hot tip, try the Baby Pancakes with spotty banana curd, walnuts and pepe saya mascarpone.
Now while not all food is from rescued food waste, the menu is ‘waste conscious’ and features many donated ingredients from wonderful businesses such as Brasserie Bread, Black Star Pastry and Select Fresh that would otherwise have been dumped.
Along with a repurposed menu, the café also applies an ‘Adopt A Mug’ initiative to encourage customers to refuse takeaway coffee cups and take a ceramic mug instead. Customers who find this option inconvenient can buy a special OzHarvest KeepCup.
Oz Harvest launched their Fight Food Waste campaign last month alongside the release of independent documentary Food Fighter featuring CEO and founder Ronni Kahn. Fight Food Waste is a resource based consumer campaign aimed at reducing the mountain of food waste that occurs in the home. According to the organisation, consumers waste more food than supermarkets, restaurants, manufacturers and farms collectively.
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“Food is so precious, wasting it makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically – but we all do it. From forgetting about food in the fridge, buying and cooking too much, letting it expire and not storing it properly… there are so many reasons good food ends up in the bin,” says OzHarvestfood Founder and CEO Ronni Kahn.
Food waste currently costs the Australian economy more than $20 billion each year according to the federal government, which results in over five million tonnes of perfectly good food ending up in landfills. Half of this food waste occurs in the home, costing the average family over $1,000 every year. But all this waste – food waste and money waste – can easily be avoided if people just learned to be more mindful.
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With a national target to halve food waste by 2030, change is required at all levels, but it really does begin at home. My top tips would be setting a day for weekly planning and meal prepping, and investing in a home compost bin.
If you’re keen to tackle your household’s food waste problem, make sure to check out OzHarvest’s food waste resources where you can download meal planners, recipes and videos here: ozharvest.org/fightfoodwaste.
Every $1 spent at the OzHarvest Café by Gratia will help to deliver two meals to someone in need. The OzHarvest Café by Gratia will be open for breakfast and lunch from Wednesday to Sunday at 372 Bourke Street, Surry Hills NSW from now until September.