Wednesday, February 28, 2024

‘Industry heavyweights’ team up to halve Australia’s food waste

Retailers, manufacturers, growers and suppliers have signed a voluntary agreement in a bid to halve Australia’s $36 billion food waste problem by 2030.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley says the Australian Food Pact has the backing of “industry heavyweights” Woolworths Group, Coles Group, Goodman Fielder, Mars Australia, Simplot Australia, McCain and Mondelēz Australia.

“Each year we waste around 7.6 million tonnes of food, which is why the Australian government has set an aggressive target of halving food waste by 2030,” she says.

“That challenge goes right across the supply chain, from the grower to the home. The Australian Food Pact is the first time we will have the major players in the same room working towards that goal.

“With food waste costing the economy roughly $36 billion a year, we need collaboration between business and government without the threat of regulation.

“Australian Food Pact creates that space for businesses to come together, to work through their food waste issues and to collaborate up and down the supply chain.”

Assistant Minister for the Environment Trevor Evans says the Australian Food Pact will be good for consumers, boost jobs and help to protect the environment.

“By signing up to the voluntary agreement, business is demonstrating leadership in the push for circularity in food production, sustainability and environmental protection,” he says.

Driven by Stop Food Waste

Supported by $4 million in Morrison government funding, organisation Stop Food Waste Australia will drive the policies and collaboration between businesses that sign up to the Australian Food Pact.

Stop Food Waste Australia CEO Dr Steven Lapidge says Australians waste 7.6 million tonnes of food each year, equivalent to more than 300kg of wasted food per person per year.

“The Australian Food Pact will bring together businesses from along the length of the supply chain – from farm to fork – to work together to reduce food loss and waste,” he says.

“We’ve been heartened by the response of the Australian food industry to joining the Australian Food Pact, which will see signatories tackle waste, improve profitability, respond to supply risks, provide innovative solutions, be more competitive, and provide quality products with lower environmental impacts.”

Inaugural signatories

The inaugural signatories for the Australian Food Pact are:

  • ARECO Pacific
  • Coles Group
  • Goodman Fielder
  • Mars Australia
  • McCain Foods
  • Mondelēz Australia
  • Simplot Australia
  • Woolworths Group

Welcomed by AFGC

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) welcomes the launch of the Australian Food Pact and congratulates the inaugural signatories.

“The Australian Food Pact represents a whole-of-supply-chain determination to reduce food waste and in the process make the nation’s food production and retail systems even more innovative and sustainable,” says AFGC CEO Tanya Barden.

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