Timaru's food and beverage processors target waste

17 August 2020

South Canterbury’s food and beverage processors will prioritise the reduction and reuse of biowastes, plastics and personal protective equipment following a second annual meeting to collectively address waste issues in the region.

A recent get-together, in Timaru, attracted representatives from several companies where the next steps of how to manage by-products and waste were discussed.

South Canterbury Food Processors and Manufacturers Business Connection Group launched the ‘Sustainable is Attainable’ campaign in May 2019 to better manage their by-products and waste by working in unity as a sector.

The project, coordinated by Venture Timaru, is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is unprecedented with so many companies being transparent about their by-products and waste, Venture Timaru chief executive Nigel Davenport said.

The food and beverage sector in South Canterbury produces vegetables, fish, dairy, meat and honey through its primary industries, while secondary producers make products including sauces, beer, vegetable juice, and pet food.

“It’s great to hear the excitement from different companies within the same sector to tackle these issues. This information is typically so sensitive,” Davenport said.

“I can’t think of anywhere else in New Zealand where this is happening at such scale.”

Davenport said three University of Canterbury students spent the summer collating and researching the waste streams, including biowastes, plastics and PPE from DB Breweries and Barker’s of Geraldine.

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