With $20 billion of food wasted every year in Australia, the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has partnered with Woolworths and Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) to bring international sustainable food systems expert Mark Barthel from the UK to Australia to develop a solution to the growing problem.
Mr Barthel brings with him a 25-year track record of fight food waste with brands such as Tesco, Amazon, Walmart, Marks & Spencer and Nestle.
“Although only 3 per cent of national food waste is attributed to supermarkets, they still have a critical role to play in engaging with their customers about how they can make the most of the food they buy,” Mr Barthel said.
“Woolworths is at the forefront of educating customers around minimising food waste via their Food Savers program and they have also made commitments themselves with 100 per cent of their stores now with a food waste diversion program in place.
In Australia, there is 7.3 million tonnes of food wasted each year according to the recently released Australian National Food Waste Baseline report, nearly half of which still ends up in landfill.
“Preventing food waste entering landfill in Australia would be the equivalent of taking over 1 million cars off the road in terms of its environmental impact,” Mr Barthel said.
“There is a huge role for businesses to play in reducing food waste along the supply chain, and in addition to working on a roadmap for Woolworths I’m also going to be working with FIAL to establish a voluntary agreement program with Australian businesses as part of the National Food Waste Strategy.”
Woolworths Head of Sustainability, Adrian Cullen is ready to have Mr Barthel on board to support their commitment to reducing food waste.
“We look forward to working closely with him so we can continue to improve on our food waste reduction journey to bring real benefit for our customers, farmers, suppliers and community partners,” Mr Cullen said.
Fight Food Waste CRC CEO Dr Steven Lapidge said, “Food is meant to be eaten and I haven’t met anyone yet who does not feel guilty about wasting food. So, this is a solvable global challenge, one that all of us here at the Fight Food Waste CRC, Woolworths and FIAL are committed to tackling.”
TOP: The Woolworths and Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) teams.