In a bid to lift the lid on one of Australia’s dirtiest secrets, social entrepreneur and accidental activist Ronni Kahn embarks on a crusade to end the $8-10 billion of food waste each year in Australia, one of the richest countries on Earth.
Ronni Kahn used to be a collaborator in Australia’s annual $10bn food waste bill when she ran a successful corporate events company. Then she realised the absurdity of throwing away good food, and abandoned capitalism in favour of social activism, before launching the food rescue company OzHarvest, winning her critical acclaim (as well as 2010 Australian of the Year – Local Hero). Now she’s taking on politicians and big business in a gamble to expose a scandalous truth: that four million tonnes of edible food is discarded every year while up to two million Australians suffer from food insecurity. And to add insult to injury, this food waste winds up in landfill, creating greenhouse gas emissions. So it’s a disaster on three fronts: we waste about $1000 per family each year; two million Aussies suffer food insecurity and hunger; and the landfill harms the environment. Waste Nation follows Ronni’s journey across Australia and the globe as she aims to bring an end to this dirty secret.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
Food waste in Australia is of epic proportion, and while many people are trying to do something in their own way, one woman has made ending food waste her life's mission. Enter Ronni Kahn. Australia needs trailblazers like Ronni, and Ronni needs ordinary Australians to get behind her goal – to force large organisations to stop blatantly wasting precious food, and to help reallocate this previously wasted food to those who need it most. This documentary feature aims to chart Ronni's campaign, and turn the spotlight on the issue of food wastage in general. OzHarvest was founded in November 2004 when Ronni Kahn, stunned by the amount of food wasted by the hospitality industry, decided to do something about it. Inspired by CityHarvest, a charity that had been operating successfully for over 20 years in New York, Ronni brought the food-rescue model back to Sydney – OzHarvest was born. Ronni was instrumental in changing the existing legislation across four states that had prevented food donors from supplying excess food. Now companies and registered businesses around Australia are protected from liability when donating quality excess food to OzHarvest under the Civil Liabilities Amendment Act and Health Acts. Ronni has been recognised as a leader in the fields of entrepreneurship, social impact and innovation and has been awarded with numerous achievements for her work and commitment to the community.
We desperately need to raise $217,000 in philanthropic funds to complete the film.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
OzHarvest is the first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it, direct and free of charge, to 600 charities, providing much needed assistance to vulnerable men, women and children across Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle and Perth. OzHarvest is the only food rescue organisation in Australia collecting surplus food from all types of food providers including fruit and vegetable markets, supermarkets, hotels, wholesalers, farmers, stadiums, corporate events, catering companies, shopping centres, delis, cafes, restaurants, film and TV shoots and boardrooms. Waste Nation aims to increase awareness of the problem of food waste, and more importantly follow Ronni in her bid to make further legislative changes (similar to the recent changes in France), so as to make it unlawful for large supermarkets to waste food, and instead force them to have to provide unwanted and unused food to charitable organisations for distribution to the needy. This documentary will play a big part in compounding the strength of Ronni's bid to change the laws and the mindset of ordinary Australians.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
The documentary will be heavily promoted via the OzHarvest website and media releases, and the topic of the documentary – food waste – will be promoted via social media campaigns and publicity about the documentary. Further exposure will be created via a study guide, building awareness among younger generations. The students will hopefully take the message home to their parents and encourage the parents to participate in campaigns to highlight the social impact and real public concern. The filmmakers will combine with Ronni to undertake activities that generate and build a public outcry against food wastage.