The AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the critical role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities.
Adding to the $10,000 bursary she was awarded as the QLD state winner, Krista will receive an additional $10,000 bursary from Westpac to further progress her winning project, which will look at uncovering by-products for sweet potatoes – an industry which wastes on average 50 tonnes per acre.
“Innovation at the farm gate is a major part of reducing food waste, so I am grateful to AgriFutures Australia and the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award for giving me a stage on which we can magnify this opportunity to reduce unwanted produce, so that we can create a more sustainable and profitable future,” said Krista.
“Winning this prestigious award further highlights the level of industry support available for women making a difference in rural and regional Australia – no matter how remote you may be based.”
It’s estimated that food waste at the farm gate represents 10 per cent of gross food production, valued at $4 billion.
As a primary producer, Krista said it is difficult for any grower to see so much of their harvest thrown away because there isn’t a market for it, it’s oversupplied, or it doesn’t meet the aesthetic appearance of how consumers think fresh fruit and vegetables should look.
“Growers don’t choose to waste produce, most of the time it is out of our control. Factors such as market supply, weather and consumer demand impact us. By innovating and finding an alternate use through by-products helps to diversify the income stream and dramatically reduce the amount of leftover produce.”
Krista has already started research into developing by-products for the four most common sweet potato varieties grown in Australia.
John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, commended Krista for being an inspiring business woman, a positive rural role model and a warrior against the fight to reduce food waste.
“During these difficult times of drought, Krista exemplifies everything the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award represents. Through her family business, she is creating change and is driving an inspiring revolution in looking at different ways to generate new on-farm revenue streams and business in regional and rural Australia,” said Mr Harvey.