Supply Chain Collaboration Leads to More Meals Distributed in Australia
One in six adults in Australia did not have enough food to eat in 2021, according to Foodbank Australia’s Hunger Report. Additionally, more than half of people facing food insecurity in Australia go an entire day without eating at least once a week. At the same time, Foodbank Australia, a member of The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), witnessed a decrease of regular donation of staple products. With support across the food supply chain, Foodbank developed the Collaborative Supply Program to increase access to nutritious foods for Australians facing hunger. Through the program, Foodbank and manufacturing partners agree on a product that can be produced using that partner’s existing processes and facilities. Foodbank then works with farmers, food ingredient and packaging suppliers, and transport companies that are willing to offer their expertise and donate their services for free or at cost. In 2020, Foodbank built on an already flourishing partnership with General Mills to start the Collaborative Supply Program. The way it worked was: General Mills donated the time and labor to make the product, and the company’s suppliers donated the raw ingredients and packaging to dramatically reduce the cost. For example, Ferraro Dairy Foods supplied the fresh ricotta for the pasta filling. In the end, General Mills’ Rooty Hill Plant in Western Sydney produced 10,000 monthly meals of Latina Fresh ricotta and spinach agnolotti. Last year, Foodbank worked with Nestle on the MAGGI Hearty One Pot Casserole. It was the first time a company created a product exclusively for food bank distribution. The product brings together 12 supply chain partners and contributed 1.2 million meals that Foodbank distributed to those facing hunger in Australia. To date, the Collaborative Supply Program has also produced milk, eggs, and sauces—as well as sausages and cereal though complementary programs. Foodbank Australia’s Collaborative Supply Program is an example of the way food banks use creativity and collaboration during times of crisis. With the support of partners all along the supply chain, Foodbank is responding and will continue to respond to the emergency food needs of Australians across the country.