When the ABC shared photos of tonnes of tomatoes left to rot in a field because they weren’t perfect enough to sell to supermarkets, there was an outcry from thousands of people, horrified by the waste, ABC News reports.
A Queensland woman has urged those people to do something practical about it, with the help of her website.
Helen Andrew created Spare Harvest to connect farmers, gardeners and cooks in communities around the world — helping them swap, sell or share, what they have spare.
Her search for solutions began when she reluctantly buried much of a bumper crop of juicy sweet mandarins in her backyard, soon after moving to the Sunshine Coast.
“My immediate network also had an abundance of citrus and it just didn’t sit right with me that I had this beautiful produce but I didn’t know who to give it to or who would actually use it,” Ms Andrew said
“It was about connecting to strangers I didn’t know and I didn’t have a mechanism to allow me to do that, so after spending some time researching I created my own mechanism, and that’s when Spare Harvest was born.
“It’s about making sure that all those valuable resources are constantly circulating in our community and don’t end up in landfill.”
The website contains a global map, that can be zoomed in to locations pinpointing buy, swap and sell postings from more than a thousand members including farmers, gardeners and householders, who are signed up for free.
Businesses wanting to promote products or services to those members pay a $495 annual fee.
Ms Andrew said the more people who join, the more potential there is to stop food and other items going to waste.