A $200,000 GRANT is helping turn waste food into useful produce through the Fight Food Waste CRC.
Food waste costs Australian an estimated $20 billion each year with nearly 300 kilograms of food thrown out per Australian each year.
This problem is also face by small to medium enterprises.
To address this challenge, Food Innovation Australia Limited is funding the Fight Food Waste SME Solutions Centre, an industry-led grant program being rolled out by the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre in partnership with the Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
This $200,000 grant program offers matched funds of up to $50,000 to help SMEs find solutions to their agri-food waste challenges.
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Fight Food Waste CRC chief executive officer, Steven Lapidge, said the unique program would give SMEs the opportunity to tell the Fight Food Waste CRC their agri-food waste challenges and the Fight Food Waste SME Solutions Centre research community will find the best solutions for them.
"For example, you could be an SME in rural Australia that grows onions," he said.
"You notice that 10 per cent of your onions never make it out of the packhouse due to current buyer standards.
"If you apply to the Fight Food Waste SME Solutions Centre, we will put your agri-food waste challenge to Australia's best food waste researchers and our international connections to determine the highest value use."
Dr Lapidge said it was important these "best solutions" were available to tackle these challenges, including the necessary training.
"Food is meant to be eaten and I haven't met anyone yet who does not feel guilty about wasting food," he said.
"So, this is a solvable global challenge, and it is an opportunity for Australia's SMEs to turn a waste stream into a new value chain and provide an additional income to their operations."
FIAL managing director, Mirjana Prica, said this project was building on FIAL's legacy of the SME Solution Centre.
"It is our hope that once SMEs are introduced to the great work being done at the FFW CRC, they will invest further and encourage others to participate," she said.
DAF executive director-general Beth Woods said the FFW CRC was looking for applications that have a high commercialisation potential, with SMEs demonstrating a strong understanding of the consumer or market demand for a new product.
The Fight Food Waste SME Solutions Centre was officially opened today at 11am at the Health, Food and Sciences Precinct, Coopers Plains in Brisbane.
For more information, visit: fightfoodwaste.com.au.
- This story first appeared on the Stock Journal.