July 16, 2019
A small Geelong café is encouraging its customers to swap surplus produce from their backyard homes for their daily brew. In a return to the bartering economy, local growers are offered the opportunity to swap their homegrown fruit and vegetables for flat whites and lattes.
The Little Green Corner Café has been operating the system for a couple of years, relying on some kitchen magic to incorporate whatever produce people have brought into the day’s menu. The café also has its own farm in the nearby Waurn Ponds as well as a kitchen garden on premises.
The café policy is all part of its efforts to reduce food and packaging waste, but of course the quality of goods is critical. Café manager Jaz Hobson told ABC News the quality of the organic produce grown in nearby backyards is always on point.
“Everything we’ve ever got from people has been beautiful,” Ms Hobson said.
“It’s fresher than anything you could get at the supermarket. Generally they’ve picked it that day and brought in.”
The Australian hospitality industry as a whole is a significant contributor to food and packaging waste, but there are many small changes businesses can make that can significantly improve environmental outcomes. Other measures Little Green Corner are taking include reusable milk containers, milling their own flour from local grains and refusing to stock produce that can’t be sourced locally.
“There are more and more businesses who are making those conscious, ethical decisions,” Ms Hobson said on the industry beginning to change its ways.
“We’ve still got a long way to go but I think there’s a lot of hope.
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Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.