Food is a vital part of life. It must be high quality, varied, accessible, safe to consume and affordable. However, there is a problem with our global food system. The global food production is incredibly efficient. It produces enough food to feed 1.5x the global population. That is enough to feed 10 billion people, which is more than 2050’s estimated population peak. [1]

Shockingly, with all this surplus food, hunger still exists. As many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night[2] and 1 in 5 Australians are food insecure.[3] No country is immune. Global food demand is expected to grow substantially, with the world’s population expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050.[4]

At the same time, there is a steady decline in agricultural land. Food production places considerable pressure on the environment. According to FAO (2017), on average, agriculture consumes 70% of global fresh water and the food sector accounts for about 30% of global energy consumption.[5] There is an urgent need to rethink the current food system in terms of sustainability.

According to Dr Steven Lapidge, CEO of Fight Food Waste Ltd which incorporates the Cooperative Research Centre (FFW-CRC), new and different strategies for farm-to-fork actions are needed. He believes that adopting circular economy principles is the first step. The FFW-CRC aim is to create value from food loss and waste (FLW) by treating it as a resource. Ultimately, FFW-CRC wants industry and consumers to recognise that food wastage, anywhere in the supply chain, is socially unacceptable.[6] Adopting a circular economy approach will help identify new ways to reduce inputs, minimise waste, improve resource management and change consumption patterns.

Social enterprises are considered key players in achieving a sustainable food system with innovative solutions that increase productivity while delivering better social, health and educational services. Social enterprises in Australia are on the rise, contributing more than $21.3 billion to the Australian economy and accounting for about 1% of GDP annually.[7] They employ as many people as the mining industry, offer services to many Australians throughout society, creating a more diverse and inclusive economy. Fundamentally, they seek to work closely with consumers to create social capital for food waste reduction by changing their attitudes and behaviours.

As a social enterprise, Reclaim Foods addresses food waste through three pillars of sustainability: environmental (reducing food waste), social (by involving multiple sectors of the Australian economy), and economic (creating opportunities for local businesses through food upcycling initiatives).

To achieve this, we raise awareness about food waste through community outreach, including partnerships with schools, local governments, and other organizations. Additionally, we support farmers to maximize their yields and increase profitability. Furthermore, our food upcycling initiatives create new job opportunities and promote sustainable business growth.

We are more than a food upcycling business; we’re advocates for change.