The Federal Government has announced the key findings of Australia’s National Food Waste Baseline report.
Last year, the Federal Government appointed a steering committee to support the implementation of the National Food Waste Strategy, which has a goal to halve the nation’s food waste by 2030.
The Food Waste Steering Committee provided guidance and advice to Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) as it developed plan in 2018 that clearly sets out the actions to be taken to reduce Australia’s food waste over the short, medium and long term.
A National Food Waste Baseline was developed in order to measure and monitor progress towards the food waste reduction goal.
In a statement, Environment Minister Melissa Price said that findings from the National Food Waste Baseline report will be used to develop measurable baselines, food waste datasets and targeted strategies to meet the target.
The National Food Waste Baseline report shows Australia generated 7.3 million tonnes of food waste across the food supply and consumption chain in 2016-17, the equivalent of 298 kilograms per person.
The report, commissioned by the Federal Government, shows that while Australia recycled 1.2 million tonnes of total food waste and recovered 2.9 million tonnes through alternative uses, it still disposed of 3.2 million tonnes over the period.
Consulting with industry organisations, the report found 2.5 million tonnes (34 per cent) of food waste was generated by households, 2.3 million tonnes (31 per cent) by primary production and agricultural pursuits and 1.8 million tonnes (25 per cent) by the manufacturing sector.
Sugarcane fibre (bagasse) was excluded from the baseline as the report identifies it as already well utilised, with mill-generated bagasse primarily combusted to generate on-site power.
Ms Price said targeted research and the implementation of the National Food Waste Strategy by Food Innovation Australia will strengthen the rigour of the governments food waste datasets and its capacity to further reduce food waste.
Findings were released by the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre in Adelaide with a full report to be published on the Federal Government website in the coming weeks.