Fighting Food Waste

Meet the woman tackling Far North Queensland’s food waste to help farmer’s improve their soil

Gulf Savannah NRM recently caught up with Jess Uhlig from Green Food Australia. Originally from Adelaide, Jess has been a Far North local for the last 16 years. Jess shared her story, and how she ended up partnering with Gulf Savannah NRM on a HumiSoil® trial on a farm in Mutchilba.

Jess Uhlig’s background is in tourism and hospitality, and it was in these industries that she was exposed to a lot of food waste—and her quest to combat that waste led her to launch her business Green Food Australia late in 2020.

“We are so blasé about what it’s taken to produce that food and we discard it so carelessly. It really is quite confronting when you see so much waste going to landfill—the scale of it is just mind boggling. Up here in North Queensland we have really limited recycling opportunities,” Jess says.

The more Jess learnt about food waste and its impact on the environment, the more she wanted to be part of a solution.

Jess’ research led her to discover some technology which would enable the conversion of both food material and organic vegetative waste into soil enhancers and fertilisers, and she went from there.

“I learnt about this company called VRM Biologik based in Townsville, who have pioneered technology converting food waste to soil enhancers. They have 15–20 years’ worth of experience doing this, starting in Australia—but our country wasn’t quite ready for biological solutions… yet! So they went offshore and did most of their research and development in South East Asia and China, and then started working in the States and across Europe. Then the pandemic brought them back to Australia.”

Jess decided she had to take the leap and give the business a go, given the potential this solution had to tackle environmental and economic problems. It was then that Jess set up Green Food Australia, and started spending more time on the Tablelands talking to different growers and farmers to see what was going on.

Read the full article in the Gulf Croaker:

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