Harris Farm Markets today announced the launch of Re-purposeful Picks, a line of products that consists of the upcycling of perishable foods into premium quality products with a longer shelf life. The upcycled food range is set to tackle Australia's growing $ 36 billion food waste problem.
Harris Farm Markets Re-Purposed Picks.
Harris Farm Markets is “the first major Australian grocery retailer to bring a range of products of this type to market”, coupled with an ongoing program of consistent development of reuse solutions to reduce food waste.
"The Australian economy costs the Australian economy more than $ 36 billion each year, 7.6 million tons of food are wasted annually, 70% of which is edible," says the retailer. "According to the National Food Waste Baseline 2021, retail will contribute more than 500,000 tons to this total."
Harris Farm pioneered sustainable initiatives in retail, becoming the first chain retailer to ban the plastic bag in early 2018 and the first to challenge established food perceptions of fruits and vegetables with its Imperfect Picks range in 2014. To this day, Harris Farm invested more than $ 16 million in its sustainability initiatives that have eliminated over 31,000 tons of food waste.
“Harris Farm has listened to its customers' concerns about food waste in stores and has worked for more than a year to make a meaningful impact without affecting our daily offerings to customers. The Re-purposeful Picks range is designed to help Harris Farm take action at store level to combat climate change and empower each store to reduce their daily food waste, ”said Tristan Harris, Co-CEO of Harris Farm Markets.
Re-purposeful Picks is Harris Farm's fourth food waste reduction initiative, following the launch of Soilbiotic in February 2021, Curious Cuts in 2015, and Imperfect Picks. Food waste such as orange peel is also recycled on the Harris family's farm as feed for cattle.
“Harris Farm Markets has a long-term commitment to sustainability in all aspects of our business, and a large part of that is our innovative approach as retailers, especially when it comes to food waste,” says Harris.
Starting with over 30 products, the Re-purposeful Picks range extends the shelf life of items that would otherwise have been thrown away by up to two months. This includes upcycling fruit to smoothies, bread to breadcrumbs and vegetables to delicious pizzas.
As food waste differs from store to store based on customers' daily shopping lists and consumption, Harris Farm Markets has provided each store with the ability to reuse their food waste in-house to develop this new line of upcycling products.
“With this new initiative, we will end up with fewer products on the shelves that are nearing their expiration date, as the items are rotated earlier to create the re-purposeful range of picks. Overall, that means we're creating longer life cycles to minimize food waste in all 25 of our stores, ”says Harris.
Modeling the National Food Waste Baseline has shown that industry-led change could see food waste in Australia cut in half over the next 10 years, with a 50 percent reduction target for retailers set for 2026, according to the retailer .
All products are only available in store.