The Australian government has committed AUD 4 million ($2.8 million) in seed funding to create a new body that will be responsible for driving food waste reduction in Australia.
The establishment of a new independent entity forms part of the government’s commitment to half Australia’s food waste by 2030.
According to the government, Australia wastes more than 7.3 million tonnes of food every year costing the economy over AUD 20 billion ($14 billion) annually with households accounting for around a third. In fact, last year Rabobank said that Australia as a nation is “losing the battle against food waste”.
The independent entity will support change in all parts of the farm-to-fork food supply chain; from farmers, food manufacturers and wholesalers through to retailers, hospitality, households and food rescue organisations. It is said to also create new jobs in food innovation.
A key responsibility of the new body will be to implement a voluntary commitment programme for the industry which will support households in better managing the food that they buy and grow.
“Voluntary commitment programmes are a tried and tested way of reducing food waste by focusing on prevention, reuse and food chain innovation, working with all stakeholders across the food value chain to drive innovative and practical solutions,” said Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans.
After the initial seed funding grant, the governance entity will be self-funded through industry membership fees and partnership contributions.
The Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, added: “This new body will be a catalyst for tackling food waste in Australia by bringing together industry, businesses, government, research institutions and food rescue organisations to find innovative, practical solutions to our food waste problems.
“By reducing food waste, we can put money back into household budgets, improve business bottom lines and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.”
The new body, which will operate in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, is now calling on partners to join.
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