Post D – Literature Review: OZ Harvest.


‘Oz Harvest’, founded in 2004, collects excess food from various outlets that would otherwise become waste. Operating in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Queensland and Melbourne (along with regional programs) – They have a far reaching network, eliminating the creation of organic waste Australia wide.

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The collected produce is distributed to over 900 charities, supporting those without basic access to regular fresh food. Oz Harvest have collected over 20,000 tonnes of food, transformed to 60 million meals that would have usually been dumped in landfill.

Several systems are in place, ranging from waste collection and redistribution to educational programs. ‘NEST’, by Oz Harvest, provides education surrounding nutrition and food intake. Targeting disadvantaged areas of the community, they are providing information to those who need it. Along with ‘NEST’, Oz Harvest has ‘Nourish’. Focused on the hospitality industry, the program targets youth working with food. They train their audience in proper food practices, focused on eliminating waste. Perhaps most interesting, OzHarvest Market (another initiative) engages the community as Australia’s rescued food supermarket.

“For every dollar invested in OzHarvest, (their) food rescue operations return $6.75 to the community through reduced food expenditure for charitable agencies”. Their organisation makes sense on an economic, social, and environmental level.

Analysing their annual report for operations during 2016, OZ Harvest boasts some impressive statistics. The impact of their origination is clear, the effectiveness of such a strategy will hopefully influence future waste management programs.

The information presented is easily accessible, well presented and clear. Particularly in the case of their annual reporting. They report no only outlines their achievement, it also displays general information on food waste in Australia. The organisation is both managing waste and educating communities on the extent of waste problems.

Although mostly operating on a local level, Oz Harvest have worked internationally. Across Asian Pacific, they have engaged one time events. Partnering with local chefs,  they served over 2,000 meals that would have otherwise been sent to landfill. This has sparked global interests. Moving forward, OZ Harvest aims to take their operations overseas.

In the context of food/organic waste management, I feel OZ Harvest are championing a sustainable, innovative model. The benefits extend beyond simply reducing landfill. Through educational programs and charitable services, OZ Harvest is working to shift society attitudes and values around waste. The ethical nature of their organisation is refreshing, with results looking positive. I feel programs o such as those mentioned above will help shape the future of waste management.

References 2004. OzHarvest. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 June 2017]. 2016. The OzHarvest Effect 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 June 2017].


2 thoughts on “Post D – Literature Review: OZ Harvest.”

  1. I like that OzHarvest is able to achieve massive results and a reduction in food wastage while simultaneously communicating the importance of the average consumer in reducing their organic waste. They have visualised simply and effectively the food waste and hunger problem in Australia.


  2. Hey Thomas,

    reading your post made me smile inside because I have the feeling OzHarvest has of course a meaningful, yet a sophisticated and good working approach of dealing with food waste. Thanks for sharing this very easy to follow insight. What can be seen very clearly is, that OzHarvest besides of what they do are having a strong focus on a proper communication. I personally often have seen examples of organisations, which have really good intentions and approaches but were just not able to be seen and therefore to survive. OzHarvest is not only thinking about the treatment but is also aware of how to eventually deal with the prevention although this obviously takes more time with having less benefit in the short term. Maybe this is the reason, why they are in our minds so powerful at what they are actually doing – they are taking care of the whole system, keeping the holistic view or seeing the bigger picture.

    Down the road very interesting to dig into the company, because it has a lot of links to subjects we treated in our class over the semester and is a good example of the importance of designers in a field, where you might not expect them that obviously in the first place.

    Warm greetings.


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