This summer Abundant Produce harvested a bumper crop of super-sweet cherry tomatoes, and donated around two tonnes of these delicious vegetables to SecondBite, delivering delicious nutrition to Australia’s neediest families and individuals.
Over a million Australians regularly go hungry, and this food insecurity exposes them to increased risk from a range of diet-related illnesses including cardio-vascular disease and diabetes prompting Ian and Simone Carson to establish SecondBite in 2005, determined to deliver fresh nutritious food to those most in need.
SecondBite has now delivered over 50 million kilograms of food to over 1,300 community food programs across Australia and, following their commitment to nutrition, 75% of their food deliveries are of fresh fruit and vegetables.
“Food security is at the core of what we do,” Abundant’s Chief Research Scientist, Dr Nabil Ahmad said, “All of our plant breeding takes place under harsh Australian climactic conditions. We deliberately expose the plants to stresses like diseases and high temperatures and salinity, then we select the plants that do best under these difficult conditions. This is completely different to conventional breeding, which takes place under optimal conditions and favours presentation rather than nutrition.
“Our plants produce vegetables with less fertiliser, less pesticides and less temperature control, decreasing the impact of horticulture on the environment, and as well as increasing sustainability, our plants will grow better in those parts of the world where the food is needed most, places with harsh climates like Australia’s – in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Abundant’s tasty tomatoes are now being delivered by SecondBite to community food programs in the greater Sydney region, naturally providing some of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens with essential vitamins and minerals.
“Abundant Seeds is a collaboration with Sydney University’s Plant Breeding Institute,” Dr Ahmad said, “so helping to feed the billion hungry people worldwide is an important part of what we do and we won’t ignore the hungry on our own doorstep.”