Surplus food trader Yume winning more than the war on waste

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th October 2018

ANTI-FOOD-WASTE company Yume has been named a winner in three categories of the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards for developing Australia’s first commercial online marketplace for quality surplus food.

Yume provides an online marketplace connecting food suppliers with buyers, enabling them to list and sell their surplus products at a discount.

Basically it connects manufacturers, primary producers and importers with industrial caterers, wholesalers, manufacturers, hotels, event centres and other food service businesses.

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It is estimated 2.2 million tonnes of food still goes to waste annually in the commercial food sector in Australia.

Yume won the Premier’s Recognition Award, Innovative Products/Services, and the Small and Medium Enterprises categories.

Katy Barfield, founder and CEO of Yume, says food rescue organisations collect and re-distribute approximately 46,500 tonnes of surplus food per annum.

“This is just 2 per cent of the total commercial and industrial food waste in Australia,” Ms Barfield says.

“To date, Yume has returned $1.8 million back to Australian farmers and manufacturers and prevented over 480,000kg of top quality products from going to waste.

“Environmentally, this equates to 33.6 million litres of embodied water saved and 974 tonnes of emissions from being released.”

MORE: Linking buyers with suppliers of surplus food

Yume’s latest campaign, Eliminate 98, calls on the multi-million-dollar commercial food industry to step up to the plate to help eliminate food waste.

“We’re urgently calling on all food manufacturers and primary producers to join Yume, so that we can help prevent this food, which takes time, money and valuable resources to grow, pick, pack and distribute, from going to waste,” Ms Barfield said.

CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Stan Krpan, described the social enterprise as ‘exceptional’. “Yume demonstrated to the judges that they have translated the principles of sustainability into practice to achieve outstanding results for our environment and the state of our future,” he said.

The Yume marketplace operates Australia-wide and has buyers in New Zealand and Europe. While traditionally Yume has catered to larger organisations, the company will soon be testing new offerings for smaller buyers, such as restaurants and pubs, in metro capital cities around Australia.

If you’re a food supplier that has surplus food to sell, or a food buyer – industrial caterer, hotel, pub chain or restaurant – looking for high quality produce at a significant discount in Australia, please visit