Empowering Food Rescue Organisations to Combat Food Waste

01 June 2023

The Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance (AFRA), in partnership with Foodstuffs North Island, has successfully run a series of hui, uniting its food rescue members from across the North Island to exchange best practices and invigorate their efforts to feed their local communities and prevent good kai from going to waste.

The hui took place in Auckland, Tauranga, and Wellington and provided an inclusive platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Over the course of two days, each hui focussed on team building and sharing of expertise. On day one, participants engaged in dynamic discussions centred around best practices. The sessions inspired attendees to optimise their approach to marketing their food rescue organisations to raise awareness about their mission, with the goal of enhancing their outreach and impact.

Day two saw the involvement of representatives from Foodstuffs, who led engagement sessions around how best to work with supermarkets to rescue food and reduce waste. These interactive discussions explored ways to forge stronger partnerships between the organisations and supermarkets, fostering collaboration towards a common goal of reducing food waste. The insights and guidance equipped AFRA members to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness in rescuing food.

Reflecting on the success of the conferences, Dawn Hutchesson, General Manager for AFRA said: "The three hui were a huge success for our members. The opportunity to gather and exchange knowledge, experiences, and strategies has invigorated our collective commitment to minimising food waste in Aotearoa. We’re grateful to Foodstuffs North Island for their generous support, enabling us to provide this empowering platform for our members."

Foodstuffs North Island, the 100% New Zealand owned co-operative behind PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square stores, provided the funding for the conferences to take place. The support of AFRA is part of Foodstuffs’ commitment to be ‘Here for NZ’, delivering on its four promises to support every New Zealander to access healthy and affordable food, create meaningful work for its people, support local communities to thrive and lead on sustainability in its operations and how it sources its products.

Emma Harding, Waste Minimisation Manager for Foodstuffs, expressed her satisfaction in collaborating with AFRA and supporting their hui. She said: "As members of the Kai Commitment, our ambition is to combat food waste and make a positive impact on our environment and our communities. The hui facilitated by AFRA demonstrate the power of collective action and knowledge sharing. We’re proud to have contributed to this valuable initiative and remain committed to working closely with AFRA and its members in our shared mission to reduce food waste and food insecurity."

As the conferences drew to a close, AFRA is now looking forward to the next steps in its journey. The organisation will evaluate the outcomes of the hui and communicate this information to its members, reinforcing their collective efforts to combat food waste in Aotearoa.