• Compost Connect board member and BioPak CEO Gary Smith
    Compost Connect board member and BioPak CEO Gary Smith

Not-for-profit online platform Compost Connect has launched to help combat Australia’s food waste. The platform is backed by BioPak, and a $400,000 government grant.

Compost Connect aims to help the foodservice industry and food producers find drop off sites, as well as local businesses that are composting, to divert their waste from landfill and into compost.

The new platform is developed by BioPak, in partnership with Australian BioPlastics Association, Boomerang Alliance and Australian Organics Recycling Association.

With Australia’s goal to halve its food waste by 2030, Compost Connect board member and BioPak CEO Gary Smith said widespread change needs to be instigated throughout the foodservice and production industry.

“It’s time that businesses collaborate together to overcome the challenges to create a circular and sustainable economy and we believe that this network can help achieve this vision,” said Smith.

Fine foods importer and distributor the Calendar Cheese Company – which distributes Simon Johnson, Australia on a Plate, and Black Pearl Epicure – has signed up to the platform at its Alexandria office and warehouse store in Sydney.

Calendar Cheese Company member of the sustainability committee Kasia Sowinska told Food & Drink Business the company is mindful of the impact that food production has on the environment.

“Sustainability has become a core company value and we are pleased to take this opportunity to divert food waste from landfill and make a positive difference,” said Sowinska.

“The majority of our food comes packaged already, therefore most of the changes thus far have been to our processes.

“We have identified product in our range, that when it becomes waste, lends itself to be easily broken down and separated from the packaging. Dry snacks and biscuits are some examples. As the scale of this initiative expands within our organisation, we will need to further adapt our processes and educate our staff. It's a learning process but one worth embarking on.”

Compost Connect launched this month, and already services more than 2,200 postcodes, with the aim to increase to over 4,000 postcodes.

In its initial trials, it diverted around 4,500 tonnes of organics and packaging from landfill, which was then processed into nutrient-rich composts in less than 12 weeks.

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