May 31, 2016
Ronni Kahn is considered a maverick within the Not For Profit sector. From changing legislation to allow her to operate OzHarvest to consulting and speaking internationally she has single handedly changed the way we think about food waste.
In 1994, she became an events planner using her knowledge of flowers, food and business to quickly build Ronni Kahn Event Designs (RKED) into a successful enterprise.
It was during these events that Ronni became aware of the incredible wastage. She was over-producing food, because the best way to judge if a party was successful was by the amount of leftovers and she kept on throwing away perfectly good food.
Kahn says about $10 billion of food goes to waste every year in Australia, where 2.5 million people, of whom 603,000 are children, "don't have food security". So, in 2004, she started OzHarvest, which every day collects surplus food from delis, takeaways, boardrooms, hotels and restaurants, producers, growers, farmers and fields, and delivers it to more than 585 charities all around Australia. OzHarvest has brought wagyu beef to the poor, and whole salmon, raw and cooked food from the finest restaurants, and even the leftovers from Masterchef and other TV cookery shows.
She has actively lobbied to change the legislation around leftover food and is now consulting to countries around the world. When she launched Oz Harvest Ronni continued working in the catering business and doing very well however it soon became evident that she was needed full time and so now she is a full time member of the team.
Oz Harvest uses the term "For Imapct" rather than charity and they intend to grow the serive into other areas over the next few years.