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‘The first thing I actually thought was, “I’m pretty sure City Harvest would take that”.’

City Harvest works with fresh produce partners like Rodanto Ltd, Sidcup, to rapidly rescue short-dated, fresh produce. Technical Manager at Rodanto, Yanitsa’s relationship with City Harvest is special.

Yani previously worked with City Harvest at another fresh produce partner of ours, Ethical Food Company. Aware of the work City Harvest does rescuing food and diverting it to communities across London, Yani picked up the phone to City Harvest upon starting her new role at Rodanto. 

Sysco GB works in partnership with City Harvest food charity

Yanitsa and Alex from Rodanto with City Harvest CEO, Sarah Calcutt, and Food Sourcing Manager, Ben Logue at City Harvest’s Acton HQ. 

‘If I call Ben with an offer, he will normally reply within a couple of hours. Collection will then be booked if not that same evening – then the next morning.’

City Harvest spoke with Technical Manager, Yanitsa Tochkova, to talk about why Rodanto Ltd works with City Harvest. Working quickly with City Harvest enables Rodanto to save short shelf-life stock from going to waste.

Hello, I’m Yani, and I’m Technical Manager at Rodanto. The main produce that we work with, or that we actually send to City Harvest are products which are out of the supermarket standard specification. This could be produce that is out-of-spec for the consumers and supermarkets, but it’s not for City Harvest.

We look out for little things like softness,or yellowing on cucumbers. Obviously, once the produce is at this stage, there is not a lot of shelf-life left on it, but that doesn’t mean that it cannot be consumed.

Yanitsa previously worked with City Harvest at EFC, so knew what produce we could take, and how easy it would be to coordinate. 

It was already an existing relationship and it’s really easy to deal with people who you already know. You already know the process, you already know how easy it is to work with them, you already know how friendly they are, how passionate they are about what they do. So, all these things together made me contact them and get them as a solution for our company waste.

If I call Ben with an offer, he will normally reply within a couple of hours. Collection will then be booked if not the same evening – then the next morning. So, that’s why I don’t have to worry about the produce going to the bin, because I know how quick they are at collecting. 

Another thing that makes it really easy and simple to work with them is that they do not necessarily take one pallet of the same produce. When we sort through our produce in the packhouse, we would build a pallet of just mixed fruit and veg and then let City Harvest know what is in there. Is it peppers? Is it cucumber? Is it even strawberries or raspberries? Anything we have can be mixed on one pallet. Ideal!

It’s really easy to work with them (City Harvest), they’re really friendly. The process from giving Ben a call and saying “Look, I’ve got half a pallet of this, half a pallet of that for you”, to the collection. It is definitely made as simple as possible. No hassle at all. Nothing to worry about, except for picking up the phone and giving them a call.

Looking out for people and the planet

With the support of surplus food partners like Rodanto Ltd, City Harvest can deliver the right food, to the right people, at the right time. Free, nutritious food has never been more in demand. Together with our partners in the food industry, we’re tackling the huge societal issues of food poverty, and food waste. Just give us a call! 

Got Surplus?

If you’re a food business looking to sustainably redistribute your industry surplus, get in touch with City Harvest’s food team. We can help to solve surplus issues from anywhere in your supply chain.