SUEZ and Yume join forces to combat commercial food waste

Posted by Media Release Agency on 17th December 2019

SUEZ and Yume have announced a partnership in the fight against commercial food waste, which sees some 4.1 million tonnes of surplus food every year going, often unnecessarily, to waste.

This food, produced by Australian farmers and manufacturers, becomes surplus before it reaches supermarkets, restaurants or homes.

Now, more than ever, Australian households are increasingly concerned about the food waste they generate – yet it makes up only 34 per cent of total Food Waste Generated in 2016-171. Most of the food waste pie – some 55 per cent – is associated with our Primary Production, Manufacturing and Wholesale sectors.

This is the uncomfortable truth of commercial food waste that no one talks about.

Yume, the leading online marketplace for high quality surplus food, is focused on delivering solutions for the top two stages of the food waste hierarchy: avoiding and reusing.

SUEZ, an industry leader in waste management and recycling with a national infrastructure network and capabilities to match, is focused on ensuring it recovers, recycles and treats as much waste as possible. Partnering with Yume aligns with SUEZ’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by promoting responsible production and consumption (SDG 12). The benefits of the partnership will assist SUEZ’s customers in reducing waste and achieving greater sustainability.

At the heart of this strategic partnership is a shared commitment to prevent quality food from going to waste.

Katy Barfield, CEO and Founder of Yume, understood that in order to prevent the highest amount of food from going needlessly to waste they had to identify the problem early on – as soon as the surplus is found – so it could retain value and be used for what is intended: human consumption.

“SUEZ is a bold organisation who is not scared of calling things as they are. They walk the talk and they agree that it takes a whole of industry and government approach in order to change our waste-economy into a circular economy,” Katy said.

“There is also a great culture fit, that is not always easy to achieve” Katy added.

CEO of SUEZ Australia and New Zealand Mark Venhoek said by partnering with Yume, SUEZ continues to focus on building its existing local infrastructure and driving innovation and collaboration across the industry.

“We need to start taking responsibility for all the waste we produce, and we can achieve this by joining forces to speed up the development of more advanced approaches to recycling in Australia,” Mr Venhoek said.

“SUEZ is committed to collaboration across industry. This partnership will leverage off our national presence and extensive network of customers to connect food suppliers with food buyers – achieving better outcomes for quality surplus products that’s at risk of going to waste, in order to create sustainable value for our customers.”

“Yume has already sold over 1,350,000kg of quality surplus food, returning nearly $5 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers. This is an incredible achievement and testament to Katy Barfield’s passion and commitment to the industry,” Mark added.

The Yume platform is a one-stop solution tool to manage all surplus including bulk ingredients, by-products and finished packaged goods that may have labelling errors, are a result of overproduction, are close to bestbefore or deleted lines. One of Yume’s success story was finding a home for 550,000 individual 50-gram yellow-fin tuna sachets that were destined for landfill due to a discontinued product line. The sachets were unlabelled as they had been intended to form part of a meal kit. Despite this, Yume found sandwich manufacturers and several new retail outlets who were happy to bundle them up, label and sell the product in their stores. The manufacturer was able to avoid disposal costs and get a return on their stock and store owners had a premium tuna product at a discounted price. Everybody wins!

Today, Yume & SUEZ call upon business leaders – you have a unique opportunity and role to play. By taking the fight to commercial food waste, you are also taking the fight to the associated environmental, economic and social impacts. By standing up today, you are acting as part of the solution to most efficiently utilising our finite resources.