Suez Australia & New Zealand (SUEZ) has joined forces with online surplus food marketplace Yume Food to tackle the amount of food waste in Australia.
Suez has taken a 20 per cent equity stake in the award-winning social enterprise and hopes the investment will drive the circular economy, bringing together food suppliers with food buyers.
Food rescue veteran Katy Barfield founded Yume in 2016. It works with food manufacturers and primary producers to ship surplus stock that may otherwise have been wasted, to hospitality and retail businesses.
Barfield said Yume’s work with the food and beverage sector had prevented nearly three million kilograms of quality surplus food from becoming waste and had returned more than $8.4 million to Australian growers, manufacturers and businesses in less than five years.
“Each year in Australia we throw away an incredible 7.3 million tonnes of food equivalent to the weight of the Sydney Opera House – 45 times over. Fifty-five per cent of this occurs in the commercial food sector,” she said.
“I’m thrilled that Suez is bringing its global expertise in waste and resource management to Yume, to help us further our reach and maximise the work we can do for the good of the planet.”
Suez Chief Executive Mark Venhoek said synergies between the two companies meant the decision to invest was an easy one.
“It makes perfect business sense for us to support an organisation … challenging the way we look at surplus food and diverting it from landfill,” Venhoek said.
Suez’s equity investment in Yume will also support its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG12, which aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits this closer partnership with Yume can deliver for our mutual customers and for the environment,” Venhoek said.