New Zealand’s leading fresh produce company, T&G Fresh, has today launched a new charity, Fairgrow, which will help get fresh fruit and vegetables to Kiwis in need.

“COVID-19 has turned many people’s lives upside down and right now large numbers of Kiwis are finding it difficult to provide healthy and nutritious food to their families – and this need is outstripping what’s currently being donated. As a country of nutritious fresh food producers, we want to provide people with a fair go and make the most of Aotearoa’s produce”, says Andrew Keaney, Managing Director T&G Fresh.

“That’s where Fairgrow can help. We will capture and aggregate surplus and donated fruit and vegetables from across our 1,200 grower partners, as well as from our own business, thereby building a community of growers and partners who have a bit or a bunch to spare.”

National levels of food insecurity have risen sharply in recent months as many New Zealand families are facing increased financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. On the other hand, it’s estimated $872 million worth of food is wasted annually – representing 122,500 tonnes sent to landfill.

“We know addressing food insecurity will require everyone, including business, Government and community groups, to work together and take collaborative action.

“Fairgrow will help with this by also raising funds to buy produce when it’s not in abundance or readily available, thereby providing Kiwis in need with greater availability throughout the year. Furthermore, at various times of the year, some produce might be left in the ground or on trees as it may not have a natural commercial home. Fairgrow will make financial contributions towards helping harvest and donate some of these crops.”

As a foundational partner of the New Zealand Food Network (NZFN), Fairgrow will use its extensive grower network and national fresh produce supply chain to help connect the supply of fresh produce with national demand from NZFN’s network of food rescue organisations, iwi and charities.

“Using our existing infrastructure like our trucks, nationwide distribution network and cool stores, we’ll efficiently aggregate donated produce from across the country, and work with our partners at NZFN, so they can get it out to communities who need it the most.”

Peter Aarts, from Sundale Farms, who grows broccoli and potatoes in Pukekawa, South Auckland is proud to supply produce to Fairgrow. “As third generation growers, we take immense pride in growing healthy vegetables. The last thing we want to see is any of this food go to waste. That’s why we’re incredibly proud to support Fairgrow with regular donations of broccoli, that way we can help address this critical issue in New Zealand.”

In July 2020, T&G Fresh became a foundational partner of the New Zealand Food Network, which is a centralised hub, collecting and safely storing bulk donated food from producers and suppliers, and distributing it across the country to food rescues, iwi and charities.

The launch was celebrated today at an event hosted at T&G Fresh in Mount Wellington. Further information about Fairgrow can be found here https://fairgrow.org.nz/.

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