Social Entrepreneur Ronni Kahn AO founded the food rescue charity OzHarvest. She is a passionate advocate and activist, renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia.
As the owner of a successful event company, Ronni saw huge volumes of food going to waste every day and soon realised she was part of the problem. Knowing that millions of people were going hungry, she knew this was something that had to be fixed. Ronni’s simple solution of taking her own surplus food to local charities quickly took off and in 2004, OzHarvest was born.
Ronni’s determination shone through when together with pro bono lawyers, she lobbied government to have the law changed to allow good food to be given away for free without fear of liability to the donor. In 2005 the Civil Liabilities Amendment Act was passed in NSW, with other states following.
Today, OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. With Ronni at the
helm, a dedicated team of 300 staff and more than 3000 volunteers share her
devotion for the cause. The charity has grown under Ronni’s stewardship from humble beginnings in Sydney to delivering food and educational programs across Australia and the charity’s model has been shared globally; now established in New Zealand, South Africa the United Kingdom, Vietnam and Japan.
Ronni’s quest to tackle Australia’s food waste problem makes her a lead spokesperson on the issue, appearing regularly in national media, on expert panels and in an advisory capacity to government. She is a keynote speaker all over the world, inspiring people to find their own purpose.
Always on the lookout for new ways to innovate, Ronni started the world’s first free supermarket – the OzHarvest Market – based on a ‘take what you need give if you can’ philosophy and founded ForPurposeCo - a sustainable, social focused business to create revenue for OzHarvest.
Ronni has received many accolades recognising her achievements, most notably her appointments as Officer of the Order of Australia (AO and Australian Local Hero of the Year, Boss Magazine Top 21 True Leaders, Gourmet Traveller’s Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality, University South Australia and Griffith University both awarded her with Doctor of the University (honoris causa), and a top 100 Innovator as named in The Australian Business Review 2022.
Ronni’s journey in the fight against food waste became the feature of an independent film Food Fighter. Her memoir A Re-Purposed Life published by Murdoch Books Australia was released in September 2020