It is past time for a national food strategy that reconciles the chronic food insecurity of many families with the fact that New Zealand produces enough food to feed 40 million people. We must change our relationship to food if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, which are already being felt across Auckland.
Fair Food were honoured to host the food policy forum on behalf of the Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance (AFRA). A panel of political parties shared how they plan to address food waste and its impact on climate change and food security. Over 20 diverse food rescue organisations came together to meet with local MPs to discuss the growing need for food rescue amidst a shrinking budget for support.
Watch the video on One News
In a RNZ Checkpoint interview, Fair Food General Manager Michelle Blau, says that “costs are already as low as we can get them – run by the hard mahi of volunteers, Fair Food processes one week’s worth of groceries for about $10.
“While the government’s announcement for an extra $6 million dollars for food banks was warmly welcomed, it does not benefit food rescue groups who do not buy their food. So we face a situation where there’s money for tinned tomatoes but not money for fresh tomatoes. There’s money for cheap food, but not money for fresh, healthy food,” says Michelle.
AFRA have just launched a Nourishing Aotearoa campaign calling on political parties to support three important policies for food rescue:
1. $12 million annually for 4 years dedicated to local food rescue organisations
2. A community-led, Government-enabled food plan that ensures the economic, environmental and social sustainability of our food systems
3. Mandatory reporting of food waste across the food value chain
You can read more about this AFRA membership campaign for food sovereignty in this Stuff story.
Across Aotearoa, food rescue organisations rescue on average 20 tonnes of quality food a day that was destined for landfill and re-distribute it to people in need, with a measured social return on investment of $4.50 for every $1 invested. In 2022, Fair Food rescued 621,760kg of surplus food destined for landfill, providing 1.8 million meals to communities, whilst reducing 1,648 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.