A new app connecting restaurants and food retailers to customers will allow food which would have gone to waste to be snapped up at a discount by hungry Wellingtonians.
Foodprint is doing its bit to combat the climate crisis by offering discounted surplus food to customers before it’s thrown out.
Customers order and pay for food in the app, before collecting directly from the eateries, with discounts ranging from 30 to 90 per cent.
It’s been operating for two years in Auckland and the team are delighted to have been able to expand to Wellington with the support of Creative HQ’s Climate Response Accelerator.
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Founder Michal Garvey​ said Wellington, with its “high concentration of top-quality eateries, the walkable nature of the city and the food-obsessed population” was “the perfect city for Foodprint”.
The idea began when Garvey lived overseas. Working in the ski resorts in Colorado as a banquet server, the worst part of the job was throwing away food.
“I had some experience working in food tech, and I had been doing a web development course, and so it was a combination of things I was passionate about, as well as seeing some similar concepts overseas, so I brought it home to New Zealand.”
In New Zealand, more than 60 per cent of the almost 50,000 tonnes of food thrown out by the hospitality and retail sectors each year is still edible.
Food decomposing in landfills emits the greenhouse gas methane, making food waste a huge contributor to climate change.
This is an easy way for people to help. “You can feel really good about that lunch when you’ve saved it from being wasted,” Garvey said.
Thirty eateries in central Wellington had signed up so far, including Nam D, Yoshi Sushi, Basbousa, The Lab, Fix and Fogg and Verve Cafe, on top of 400 others in Auckland.
The Wellington launch was disrupted by the latest lockdown, but Covid-19 highlighted how valuable the service was.
These eateries didn’t produce enough waste to be worth diverting to food rescue charities, but it provided a way to shift stock on quiet days when people chose to work from home.
AJ Takla, owner of Press Hall’s Egyptian eatery Basbousa, said she had been waiting for an app just like this.
She’d considered creating her own after spending time in Paris where there is a similar app called Too Good To Go, but it was going to be a lot more work than anticipated.
Basbousa was founded on the idea of waste reduction. “If you look at the menu, I built it around minimal waste, so at the end of the day I rarely have waste,” Takla said. “Another level of being able to save food is always welcome.”
“It’s been really tough since we reopened at level 2,” she said. “I think a lot of people are afraid to come in, and we don’t know what their schedules are like.”
“It’s nice to know if we have leftovers I can easily just put them on the app.”
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