Australia’s annual food waste bill hits $10B

Australians spent a total of $10.1 billion on food that went to waste in 2019, up from $8.9 billion in 2018.

The Rabobank Food Waste Report, released 26 November, shows Australian are now wasting an average of 13 per cent of their weekly grocery spend, equating to $1026 each year.

Rabobank Australia Head of Client Experience Glenn Wealands said food waste is one of the most significant challenges facing Australia.

“According to the Food Sustainability Index, developed by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, Australia is the fourth highest food waster in the world,” Mr Wealands said.

“Given the increasing pressure on the planet to provide for a growing population, there is an urgent need for greater action across governments, industry, retailers, and consumers to drive real change.”

According to the report, consumers are the biggest offenders, with household waste making up 34 per cent of food waste nationally.

Primary production represents 31 per cent, with manufacturing contributing 25 per cent.

Mr Wealands said every individual has a role to play in minimising food waste.

“We know from this research that more than three quarters of us care about reducing food waste and are annoyed by it,” Mr Wealands said.

“However, it is alarming that less than three out of 10 of us recognise the impact our food waste has on the environment.”

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