Interviewed By:  Jarette Petzer on ImStayingMedia

“I always seem to be the right guy in the right place at the right time!” laughed Gidon Novick when he recently sat down to chat with Jarette Petzer.

After leaving the corporate world a few years ago to disrupt the hotel and airline industry, Gidon says he has always had a burning desire to help South Africans, to grow small businesses, and to assist others in need. 

Focusing on people’s success and involving himself in initiatives which have a meaningful purpose are what drive Gidon.  As the creator of the budget airline, Kalula, his successful business model has real societal benefits. 

He found himself under-investing his own personal time, however, and promised himself that when he turned 50 (which happened at the right time) he would invest 50% of his time in personal interests.

Currently 30% of all the food produced goes to waste

This saw him turn his attention to a hot topic across the world: food waste.  Currently 30% of all the food produced goes to waste.  Not, however,  in Australia thanks to an ex-South African, Ronni Kahn, who founded OzHarvest.  Based on their successful food reallocation program, Gidon founded SA Harvest, which has been operating for just over 12 months.

“We rescue food going to waste and get it into the hands of those who need it.  It is a sustainable business model.  It does not need continuous donations (cash) to keep going.”

South Africa has an abundance of food, and this wasted food needs to be redistributed at a macro level.  This is the challenge – getting this excess into the right hands.

More than 10 million South Africans are undernourished.  There is not enough quality, nutrient-rich food available, which creates this massive need. 

SA Harvest tackles this from a technological and a logistical operations point of view.  There are plenty of rules and regulations when dealing with fresh produce and these need to be addressed optimally.  There’s an abundance of excess – from food manufacturers to grocery stores, and from restaurants to airlines.   For example, Comair Airlines’ kitchens have huge excess, which SA Harvest collects and redistributes under the correct conditions.  They need many sources of supply since they do not know what will be coming in on any given day.

SA Harvest finds that surplus and places it in the right hands for maximum benefit.

More than 10 million South Africans are undernourished.  There is not enough quality, nutrient-rich food available, which creates this massive need.   SA Harvest finds that surplus and places it in the right hands for maximum benefit.

 

Needless to say, at this level of operation logistics are one of the areas which need to be well equipped and operate smoothly, from collection to storage to handout.  All this is further challenged with the social distancing and closure of businesses right now.

Gidon’s commitment to this effort is unwavering.  They need all hands on deck.  The need to grow their supplier network is driven by a real sense of urgency.

How can you get involved? 

Visit www.saharvest.org to find out how you can help. 

South Africa, let’s come together to ensure everyone has enough to eat! 

 

Edited by: Michelle Pagel

GOOD THOUGHTS • GOOD WORDS • GOOD DEEDS