Companies sign on to food waste reduction pact

Big business backs Australian Food Pact to reduce food waste

Horticulture
OUT: The Australian Food Pact is a voluntary agreement featuring major companies with the aim of halving food waste by 2030. Picture: Shutterstock.

OUT: The Australian Food Pact is a voluntary agreement featuring major companies with the aim of halving food waste by 2030. Picture: Shutterstock.

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Halving food waste by 2030 is one of the goals the group is helping to meet.

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SIMPLOT Australia has become the first first organisation to sign up to the Australian Food Pact.

It is one of several of Australia's biggest food industry participants to join the new collaboration tackling Australia's $36.6 billion food waste challenge.

The Australian Food Pact is a voluntary agreement featuring major companies including Woolworths Group and Coles as founding signatories.

Launched in October last year, the program is led by Stop Food Waste Australia (SFWA) which hopes to assist with the Australian government's target of halving food waste by 2030.

SFWA chief executive officer Dr Steven Lapidge said food waste was a local, national and global challenge.

"Australians waste 7.6 million tonnes of food each year, equivalent to more than 300kg of wasted food per person per year," Dr Lapidge said.

"The Australian Food Pact represents a major step forward in our bid to reduce food waste, and I commend all the signatories for their commitment to take action."

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Simplot managing director Graham Dugdale said the company strongly aligns and identifies with the Australian Food Pact's goal and mission.

"We were inspired to be the first signatory, because it will give organisations like ours the opportunity to reduce food waste while collaborating with industry experts and like-minded organisations to improve Australian agricultural and food manufacturing productivity and practices," Mr Dugdale said.

The founding signatories for the Australian Food Pact are: Simplot Australia, Woolworths Group, Coles, Mars Australia, Mondelz Australia, Goodman Fielder, ARECO Pacific and McCain Foods, with other household names indicating they will follow in the coming months.

SFWA chief operating officer Mark Barthel said similar voluntary agreements overseas, such as the UK's Courtauld Commitment, have successfully reduced food waste at scale.

"Overseas experience shows that voluntary agreements work, and based on the heartening response from our food industry to the Australian Food Pact, it will work here as well," Mr Barthel said.

"By joining the Australian Food Pact, signatories will be able to improve profitability, respond to supply risks and opportunities, provide innovative solutions, be more competitive, and create quality products with lower environmental impacts."

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