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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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Delivering on a commitment to reduce Australia's food waste

Published: Monday, 20 November 2017

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The Coalition Government today delivered on its election commitment to develop a National Food Waste Strategy and convene a National Food Waste Summit. The strategy – launched at the inaugural summit in Melbourne – provides a framework to support collective action towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030.

The first steps on our collective journey will be supported by an initial funding commitment of $1.37 million over 24 months. This funding will be used to support:

  • an independent organisation (Food Innovation Australia Limited) that will develop an implementation plan as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework for the strategy and coordinate priority areas of work;
  • a voluntary commitment program that will initially engage businesses and industries to commit to actions that reduce food waste; and
  • a National Food Waste Baseline so that we can monitor and track progress towards our food waste reduction goal.

Food waste has environmental, economic and social implications for all Australians.

  • The estimated cost of food waste to Australian economy is $20 billion per year.
  • Of the food waste disposed in landfill in 2014-15, 7.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent will be released over the life of its decay.
  • Although we produce enough food to feed about 60 million people, one food rescue organisation is turning away over 65,000 people each month.

The National Food Waste Strategy identifies four priority areas – policy support, business improvements, market development and behaviour change – that will help reach the 2030 goal.

The Coalition Government, with the states and territories, will enable Food Innovation Australia Limited, through $1 million over the next 24 months, to start implementing the strategy. A steering committee will provide advice and guidance to Food Innovation Australia Limited in implementing the strategy. Membership of the committee will be announced in the coming months and will align with the priority areas of the strategy.

By late 2018, Food Innovation Australia Limited will deliver the plan for the strategy that sets out short, medium and long-term actions. The industry voluntary commitment program will be in place by early 2019.

The Coalition Government has also committed a further $370,000 through its National Environment Science Program for two research projects to support the strategy. Of this, $200,000 will support research to establish the National Food Waste Baseline and develop an approach for the measurement of progress against the 50 per cent reduction target. The remaining $170,000 will identify the highest value return on investment opportunities in food waste for business, community organisations and governments.

Ways to support a consistent national approach to community education on food waste will also be on the agenda of the upcoming Meeting of Environment Ministers in December.

Further information, including the National Food Waste Strategy, can be found at:

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