Historic reform a step towards feeding hungry Australians

Friday 28 June 2024: Legislation introduced next week aims to unlock tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables for hungry Australians struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. Inspired by the National Food Donation Tax Incentive, this new reform represents a significant step forward in addressing food insecurity in Australia.

For more information about the National Food Donation Tax Incentive with the full proposal and communications resources, click here.


Food donation tax incentive

New Legislation to Encourage Food Donations


Western Australian Senator Dean Smith will table a Private Senator’s Bill, the Incentivising Food Donations to Charitable Organisations Bill, in the Senate. This Bill aims to change Australia’s tax system to encourage the donation, rather than dumping, of food. It has the potential to deliver millions of extra meals and help Australia reach its bipartisan commitment to halve food waste by 2030.


Hands holding fresh tomatoes

Inspiration from the National Food Donation Tax Incentive


The Bill is inspired by the National Food Donation Tax Incentive, a proposal developed by KPMG through the support of End Food Waste Australia, the NSW Environmental Protections Agency and Queensland Department of Environment and Science. It incentivises food businesses, such as farmers, wholesalers and transporters to donate surplus food and allied services to Australian food relief charities.

The incentive has garnered support in recent Parliamentary inquiries and was a key recommendation in the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture’s Report into Food Security in Australia. It also enjoys widespread endorsement from representative organisations and businesses in the Australian food industry and works successfully in other countries, including France, Canada, and the United States.

Foodbank Australia CEO Highlights Urgency


Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey AM, stressed the importance of this incentive.

We have families unable to put food on the table despite tonnes of perfectly edible food being dumped or ploughed in each year. We know that households under financial pressure have been forced to reduce – or even remove – their spend on fresh fruit & vegetables and protein, meaning demand for these products at food banks across Australia has skyrocketed. This tax incentive is smart policy, and the debate in the Senate next week should be about how quickly we can introduce it, not about party politics.


Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey AM talking on Nine News


Oz Harvest, SecondBite, Foodbank, Senator Dean Smith holding boxes of fruit and vegetables

Support from OzHarvest and SecondBite


OzHarvest CEO, James Goth, agreed, “Demand for food relief is at an all-time high and our charities are telling us they are struggling to cope with the ongoing increase in numbers. This bill has the potential to get edible food off farms and onto the plates of those who need it most, addressing food security and food waste simultaneously. It’s crucial for politicians to recognise this need in the community and unite to implement this reform.”

SecondBite CEO, Daniel Moorfield, added, “We are committed to working with the government and all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of this tax incentive. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of millions of Australians and move closer to achieving our food waste reduction goals.”

Bill to Be Introduced in Senate


Senator Dean Smith stated that the Bill represents a single, straightforward solution to two problems.

Food relief charities are fighting to meet unprecedented demand, while at the same time an unbelievable amount of food is dumped each year, much of it edible, and often because it’s cheaper than donating it. My Private Senator’s Bill – originally shaped by the National Food Donation Tax Incentive and refined through close consultation with the Australian charity sector – is aimed at turning that around and delivering meaningful help to Australians in need.

The Bill will be introduced into the Senate on 3 July and is expected to be referred to a committee for inquiry. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to make submissions of their suggested changes and improvements, with a Parliamentary report to be delivered by 30 October.

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