Foodbank in the driver’s seat to tackle Australia’s $20 billion food waste problem.

The country’s largest food relief organisation, Foodbank, is taking a leadership role in the development of the Australian Government’s first National Food Waste Strategy to halve Australia’s food wastage by 2030.

Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, said “It is shameful to think that over 9 million tonnes of food is being wasted at a time when more than 644,000 people are receiving food relief every month – a third of whom are children”.

“Foodbank is already working with farmers, processors, food manufacturers and retailers to minimise food waste from paddock to plate, but we’re talking about a $20 billion a year problem here, so it is clear that more can be done”.

The Australian Government has convened a roundtable forum to be held in Melbourne next month ahead of a National Food Waste Summit taking place in November 2017.  Foodbank will be represented at the forum, highlighting its collaborative supply program as just one example of innovation in the farm, food and food relief sectors to address both food waste and food insecurity.

“Through the redirection of surplus, short-coded or out of specification fresh produce, Foodbanks across Australia are able to provide more than 63 million meals per year to vulnerable Australians,” Casey explained.  “We’re talking about more than 30 million kilograms of food and groceries that may otherwise have been wasted, ending up in landfill, placing Foodbank in the unique position of facilitating a triple bottom line solution at scale”.

“We congratulate the Federal Government on its commitment to tackling Australia’s massive food waste problem and look forward to the benefits that a National Food Waste Strategy will deliver to the 2 million Australians seeking food relief every year,” she said.