A new national research effort is aiming to reduce food waste in all stages of the product, from production to final disposal.
The $133 million Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre program is a partnership between 57 industry and research participants from Australia and internationally.
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Food waste costs Australia $20 billion a year, with significant amounts of it being sent to landfill.
To reduce food waste throughout the value chain, the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre aims to transform unavoidable waste into high value products and engage with the industry and consumers to deliver behavioural change.
Sustainability Victoria (SV) Chief Executive Officer Stan Krpan said $150,000 from SV’s Love Food Hate Waste program will be used to fund research on consumer behaviours concerning food waste and reducing food waste in the supply chain.
“As Victoria is one of the nation’s major food producers and processors, this is a particularly important issue,” Mr Kpran said.
“The CRC ticks boxes in terms of how we can do more to efficiently produce and process food and deal with waste,
“The University of Melbourne’s 2016 Melbourne Foodprint report found Melbournians wasted more than 200kg of food per person every year. It‘s not just a waste of resources along the food production and processing chain; it’s a major producer of greenhouses gas emissions as the food decomposes,” he said.
Mr Krpan said the project would help primary producers, food processors, retailers, food rescue agencies and technology and service providers.
“It will also help local government to contain the cost of operating landfills and long-term, that’s good for everyone. It will also reinforce Sustainability Victoria’s work to reduce the production of waste or all types.”
“There are many opportunities to develop and use products derived from primary production that is otherwise wasted.
“We already have a composting industry which uses some food waste, and there is the potential to feed it into digesters which breaks it down, creates gas to drive electricity and reduces what goes to landfill,” Mr Kpran said.