The Turnbull Government will discuss its commitment to develop a National Food Waste Strategy to reduce Australia’s food waste by 50 per cent by 2030 with industry and community leaders in Melbourne tomorrow.
A roundtable, bringing together government, industry, academia and the not-for-profit sector will be co-hosted by the Pratt Foundation. It will be an important opportunity to map a way forward ahead of a National Food Waste summit to be held in November 2017.
Australian consumers currently waste 20 per cent of food purchased or essentially throw away one in five shopping baskets of food.
Around three million tonnes is wasted from the commercial and industrial sector, costing $10.5 billion in waste disposal charges and lost product while charities and community groups are turning away more than 43,000 people seeking assistance every month.
The cost of food waste to the overall economy is estimated to be $20 billion each year which is one of the reasons why the Federal Government is committed to addressing this problem.
The economic, social and environmental impacts of food waste means that it involves every single Australian. The issue of food waste presents challenges, but we believe that there are substantial opportunities to rethink how we can prevent food waste or use lost or wasted food for other purposes.
Significant work is already underway by food rescue organisations in providing potentially wasted food to those in need. Some areas of the production and manufacturing sectors have also put in place processes to improve efficiencies in preventing food loss.
The aim of the National Food Waste Strategy is not to impede this important work but to empower all those engaged in this space to undertake meaningful action.