Funded project – Melbourne's first zero waste food upcycling hub

Last updated: 2 May 2022
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Project lead: Fresh Select
Project partners: Nutri V
Status: In progress
Funding source: Recycling Victoria – Business Support Fund
Funding amount: $500,000
Co-contribution: $1,075,380

Establishing a food processing hub in the South Werribee growing district, this Victorian-first facility will upcycle surplus vegetables and by-products into value-added foods and ingredients. This will help local growers achieve 100% crop utilisation, while minimising food waste on farms, pack-houses and in food manufacturing.

Victoria Regional BSF Food waste Werribee Crops

Background

This project will be implemented by Fresh Select and Nutri V to establish a new processing plant with the capacity to transform 7,900 tonnes of surplus vegetables and vegetable offcuts into new foods, including nutrient powders and snacks.

The establishment of this project will enable Fresh Select, Nutri V and other farmers in the Werribee South growing district to increase crop yields, reduce food waste and associated disposal costs, and generate new revenue streams. When operating at full capacity, the infrastructure will provide more than 60 million additional serves of vegetables, recovered from waste, for business to business and business to consumer sales.

Victorian Government funding will specifically be used to purchase, install and commission one part of the processing plant, specifically a drying unit with a capacity to process vegetables into nutrient powders.

The successful implementation of this project will create a foundation for Fresh Select and Nutri V to undertake additional activities to increase the scope and scale of their food upcycling facility. These additional activities may include the creation of nutraceutical products including supplement capsules.

Objectives

  • Reduce the generation and disposal of vegetable waste at the primary production and processing (pack-house) supply chain stages, and to extend this benefit to other agricultural businesses in the Werribee South growing district.
  • Establish a new processing plant with the capacity to accept and transform 7,900 tonnes of low-grade vegetables, surplus vegetables and vegetable offcuts into new food products and ingredients each year.
  • Create a new circular economy business model and a new circular economy service for growers in the Werribee South agricultural district, as an alternative to other waste disposal or recycling processes.
  • Create new sustainable products for sale to businesses and consumers, based on the circular economy principles of eliminating waste and pollution, and keeping products and materials in use for longer.
  • Support the development and adoption of zero waste farming in Victoria and ultimately achieve 100% agricultural production yield on farms in the Werribee South growing district.
  • Create new long-term circular-economy-based jobs.
A piece of broccoli lying next to some broccoli power.

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