A new Melbourne based food rescue app, Yume promises to reduce food waste while increasing profits for foodservice operators.

Yume’s founder Katy Barfield – also the founding CEO of food recuse organisation, SecondBite – says that Yume has already started to play a key role in reducing food waste throughout Melbourne’s foodservice sector. As it stands, the Australian food industry is responsible for throwing out around 1.4 million tonnes of edible food waste annually, with individual operators throwing out an average of $15,000 worth of edible food every year.

“Chefs are so passionate about the food they create,” says Barfield. “The last thing they want to do is throw it away.”

“A large number of venues regularly have small amounts of surplus food. Individually, this volume of waste is too small to be serviced by the existing, centralised food rescue model, but collectively this represents a massive opportunity. If every caf in Australia reduced the amount of food they threw out by just one kilogram per day, we would save 35 tonnes of food from going to land fill every day.”

The App facilitates direct, hyper-local connection between those who have surplus food and those who need it. Barfield says that Yume complements the work done by food rescue organisations by providing a tool that redistributes food that they are unable to collect.

Businesses can choose to either sell their excess food to Yume’s growing list of ‘Yumembers’ (currently at 1700) or donate it to one of Yume’s list of partner food charities including the Salvation Army, Melbourne City Mission and St Mary’s House of Welcome.

“As well as providing an income stream to businesses, Yume is also a gateway to environmental awareness among mainstream food lovers. We’re finding that many of our Yumembers are signing up because they want great food at a discounted price, not necessarily because they’re passionate about reducing food waste. The food waste message is something that reaches them down the track and I think that’s really powerful. It’s so important to create awareness outside our pre-existing circle of supporters.”

Since its launch in June this year, over 100 restaurants and cafes in Melbourne have signed up to the app including Guy Grossi of Grossi Florentino, Matt Wilkinson (Pope Joan/ Hams&Bacon/ Spudbar) and Jesse Gerner (Green Park/ Anada/ BOMBA Tapas Bar and Rooftop).


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