Seeka, Perfectly Imperfect and Island Gelato collaborate to reduce food waste

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New Zealand produce company Seeka has taken another step forward in its bid to minimise food waste, partnering with Perfectly Imperfect to rejuvenate cherry export rejects.

Seeka’s New Zealand based wholesale market and distribution services, SeekaFresh, were able to work with Perfectly Imperfect’s founder, Wendy Zhou and her team, to save over half a tonne of cherries deemed both export and local market rejects.

Aaron Leslie, New Zealand Markets Manager for SeekaFresh said, “Waste is something we are always trying to minimise at Seeka. By collaborating with Wendy, we were able to access her connections at DryNZ, and Island Gelato, which has resulted in our cherries being destoned and turned into a new flavour of gelato. We couldn’t be happier to see the product redistributed to market in this way.”

Perfectly Imperfect is a social enterprise whose purpose is to save ‘ugly’ food from going to waste. Founder, Wendy Zhou, reached out to SeekaFresh in January looking for opportunities to repurpose any produce unfit for export or the local market. Wendy Zhou explained,

“A staggering 45% of fresh produce is not distributed to market, simply because it doesn’t look a certain way. It’s our aim to reduce this and repurpose the food. We were very happy to work with Seeka and look forward to a continued relationship.”

Island Gelato was also pleased with the outcome with their latest flavour, Cherry Bomb, quickly proving to be a firm favourite with locals.

Aaron stated, “Depending on varying factors such as logistics issues etc. we can end up with fruit that needs to be distributed and consumed quickly. This makes the produce unfit for export and occasionally local distribution too. Being able to work with Perfectly Imperfect, in these unusual cases, will mean the fruit can be used quickly and isn’t wasted, which is a fantastic outcome for all parties involved.”

Related: Seeka releases Sustainability Report

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