How H&H Group is helping reduce food waste

There are amazing opportunities to be explored from the fact that nearly half of all fruits and vegetables globally go to waste1. In Australia, the nutraceutical industry (where ingredients with health benefits are isolated from foods and are typically used in vitamins and supplements) imports over $1.1 billion in ingredients each year from overseas, some of which could potentially be sourced from waste streams2.

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H&H Group identified an opportunity to utilise nutraceuticals sourced from Australian waste streams in our products, thereby reducing unnecessary food waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions created by decomposing food in landfill3, and mitigating the environmental impact of importation.

Such a prospect speaks to the very essence of H&H Group. Our commitment to sustainability sits at our core, in particular our goal to reduce our footprint on the planet. Alongside this exists our desire to create wellbeing products which incorporate nutrient-rich ingredients.  To be able to marry up sourcing ingredients with our sustainability principles is an exciting step forward and the way of the future.

Turning wine industry waste into premium products

In 2019, the Australian wine industry crushed 1,730 kilotons of grapes. From this, 350 kilotons of grape skins and seeds (also known as grape marc) were left over. That’s a lot of very-much-wanted wine and a lot of unwanted grape waste, in fact it’s the largest food loss stream in horticulture in Australia4.

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In partnership with the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre and Swinburne University of Technology, H&H Group is running a pilot project to utilise 250 tonnes of Victorian grape marc from the 2020 vintage for grape seed products. The grape seed extract will be sourced from grape marc (seeds and skins), a by-product from wine production in the premium growing regions of Yarra Valley and the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, adding the further bonus of reducing transportation impacts.

Grape seed is a highly sought-after ingredient in the Australian nutraceutical industry, with health benefits that include skin health and antioxidant activity. This project presents a fantastic opportunity for H&H Group to continue delivering innovative, premium and popular products through a local, more sustainable process, while maintaining standards of quality and efficacy.

Giving ugly apples new life

It’s estimated that up to 25% of apples are rejected before they reach retailers’ shelves, simply for cosmetic reasons such as being too big or too “ugly” 5. Thanks to this criterion which seems more ruthless than online dating, a lot of healthy, tasty apples are going to waste. While some are able to be repurposed in animal feed, the majority end up in landfill.

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H&H Group recently developed a passion for apples, thanks to its new Swisse High Strength Apple Cider Vinegar. This convenient tablet format enables you to enjoy all the benefits of apple cider vinegar without the strong taste and smell. Given that a large portion of the apples which go to waste are fine from a quality perspective, H&H is using ingredients sourced from these apples in its new product, thereby preventing a portion of the rejected fruits from going to landfill.

Food waste is a global issue and collaborative action is necessary if we are to successfully tackle this challenge, in order to enjoy the environmental and business bottom-line benefits it brings.

References
  1. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Food+Wastes+and+By+products%3A+Nutraceutical+and+Health+Potential-p-9781119534105
  2. A Roadmap for building the value chain for the nutraceutical industry in Australia, Sampano Pty Ltd, 2019
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571599/
  4. https://publications.csiro.au/publications/#publication/PIcsiro:EP191660
  5. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/429/429.pdf