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Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Launch

New Zealand Food Waste Champions 12.3 and the University of Otago’s Food Waste Innovation Theme have released a Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, mapping out solutions to reduce food waste from farm to fork. The research incorporates findings from 30+ Interviews and Case Studies from 12 Food Waste “Champions”, whose initiatives to reduce food waste are celebrated.

The Roadmap calls on Government to urgently set a food waste reduction target in line with the Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 – and halve food waste by 2030. It highlights data gaps, particularly in Production, and the need for the Government to progress data collection through a food loss and waste baseline.

Angie Warren-Clark MP, who led Parliament's 2018 investigation into food waste, attended the online launch and said, “The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is an important piece of research to help us understand the issues around food waste in Aotearoa. It is a starting point for further work to inform our understanding of the barriers and opportunities across our whole food system.”

The report covers five sections of the food supply chain: Production, Processing, Retail, Hospitality and Household. At today’s Launch, five Champions spoke to an online audience on each of these sections and their Case Studies.

Deborah Manning talked to the data gaps in Production and the need to relax strict standards for producers. Deborah is the Founder of New Zealand Food Network (NZFN), a not-for-profit organisation that provides people in need with healthy food, through sharing bulk surplus and donated food. NZFN aims to meet the need of a staggering half a million Kiwis who are living without reliable daily access to affordable and nutritious food.

Anna Yallop talked to the cost-benefits for manufacturing companies to consider alternative markets for food by-products. Anna is the General Manager of Bioresource Processing Alliance (BPA), which tackles primary sector biological by-products by turning them into valuable export products, such as pet food or nutraceuticals. Advantages of partnering with the BPA include saving costs, generating revenue for NZ and reducing food by-products to landfill.

Kate Porter, Communications and Community Lead at Countdown, talked about the value of food and how retailers want to avoid surplus. Kate highlighted Countdown’s partnership and support of food rescue organisations, who redistribute food to people in need. Countdown also runs its Odd Bunch programme, where “ugly” fruit and vegetables are sold at a national scale for a lower price.

Nick Loosley is the Founder of Everybody Eats, which is a charitable dining concept. With the help of volunteers, including top chefs, Everybody Eats use rescued food to create restaurant quality three course meals. Some customers pay for their meals, which subsides those who are unable to. Nick highlighted the need for better data in the hospitality sector and to support for food waste reduction initiatives, like doggy bags/ their “Goodie Box”.

The average household in NZ wastes three shopping trolleys of food each year. Associate Professor Miranda Mirosa said that food waste at the household level has the highest environmental impact and that consumer awareness campaigns, like Love Food Hate Waste, need government investment. Miranda and her Team’s Food Waste Innovation Research Theme at the University of Otago is exploring more solutions, such as developing new upcycled food products and increasing consumer awareness.

The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is an eight-month research project with input from many people to drive food waste reduction in Aotearoa, NZ. The Roadmap is a conversation starter to attract attention to food waste and get people thinking about what they can do in their own area, be that government, business or even at the home.

Thank you to AGMARDT who funded the Roadmap and Countdown who have funded NZ Food Waste Champions 12.3 in its first year.

To access the report: https://www.nzchampions123.org/resources

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