More food, less waste for farmers

Today, on International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre has released new data on Australia’s food waste.

The data shows the figures for food loss on farms have decreased.  This new information reveals that while the numbers for fruit loss are up, the percentage of vegetables lost have come down. Broad acre crop loss has also decreased, due to less production in the drought.

These findings are part of the Growth Centre’s National Food Waste Feasibility Study (Feasibility Study). This phase of the Feasibility Study is collecting the most recent data to update the National Food Waste Baseline released by the Australian Government in 2019. This will enable identification of sector ‘hotspots’ with high waste profiles and direct focussed interventions to drive the biggest improvements.

“Having an accurate picture of where food waste is coming from and where it is going is critical. Knowing whether it is left in the paddock by farmers or thrown in the bin by households, is important in developing initiatives to reduce overall waste and capture nutritional value,” said Max Van Biene, head of strategy at Edge Environment.

As an independent organisation supporting the implementation of the Australian Government’s National Food Waste Strategy, the Growth Centre’s Feasibility Study has been taking a deep dive into the causes, nature, scale and impacts of food loss and waste in Australia.

The Feasibility Study was identified in the Growth Centre’s Roadmap for Reducing Australia’s Food Waste by Half by 2030, as a critical first step in reducing Australia’s food waste.

Australia’s largest dedicated sustainability consultancy, Edge Environment, was appointed by the Growth Centre as the lead firm on this project, alongside WRAP, 3Keel and Lifecycles. This international consortium, with globally recognised experts, is testing Australia’s commitment to halve food waste by 2030 and the actions required to achieve this target.

“The National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study will provide the insights required to set an industry-led agenda to prioritise and focus efforts to maximise the  benefits of halving Australia’s food waste by 2030,” said Dr Mirjana Prica, managing director of the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre.

Food and agribusiness stakeholders are encouraged to have their say on the preliminary Baseline findings by attending a free webinar on October 21 2020.