Solving food waste, one urban farm at a time

Thursday, 3 June 2021

David Sivyer shares his journey as founder of Feedback Organic, a circular economy startup solving the massive problem of food waste at I2N's Startup Stories.

Food waste is a massive problem, with one third of all food produced in Australia lost or wasted. Fifth generation farmer David Sivyer is acutely aware of the problem and has founded his company in an effort to solve it.

At I2N's Startup Stories event on Wednesday 2 June, David shared his story of founding Feedback Organic, a venture which compiles and converts food waste collected around the city to compost used to nourish a vast array of organic vegetables which are then provided back to the community.

David is a University of Newcastle alumni and was awarded the University of Newcastle’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020. Feedback Organic have been awarded grants and support from the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Mosman City Council. David has grown the Feedback Organic team to eight employees whose skills range from permaculture to project management and together they have diverted more than one million litres of food waste from landfill

Catch up on Startup Stories with David Sivyer

David Sivyer

Top takeaways

  • David started his first urban farm on a small plot of land by simply asking the owner if it was okay to ‘start a farm’. He explains that only by asking will you be able to take those first steps.
  • The Feedback Organic team have scaled their operations to a larger parcel of land, allowing them to recycle over 1.5million litres of food waste and create 18 tonnes of food.
  • Knowing the direction you’d like your business to move in is one thing, but it’s equally important to be open to feedback from employees, customers and partners who will help guide you. I2N Validator is a great opportunity to learn practical customer discovery frameworks and tools.
  • When asked what people can do to encourage people to get behind initiatives like this, David explains that creating a positive atmosphere and having conversations with people is how change happens.

The University of Newcastle's I2N works with individuals and organisations from across the Hunter region and beyond to turn ideas and challenges into opportunity. As a leading driver of economic and business growth, the I2N cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset that is behind many of the region's most innovative businesses and leaders.

Keep up to date with future I2N events, programs and opportunities by subscribing to I2N's monthly newsletter or visit

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.