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Food Waste Feeds Climate Change

NZ Food Waste Champions 12.3 are calling on the Government to reduce food waste as a climate change solution. On 29 September, it is International Food Waste Awareness Day.

Co-Chair of the Champions, Associate Professor Miranda Mirosa said “Around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from wasted food. The Government has declared a climate crisis and it is time to acknowledge reducing food waste as part of the solution.”

Despite the Government releasing its cabinet paper in 2020 and committing to a food waste definition, targets and measuring a baseline, things have moved too slowly. “We’re yet to see any real progress on the Government’s food waste work programme,” said Mirosa.

The Champions are calling on the Government to honour food waste commitments and create an action plan, building off the 2019 Environment Select Committee investigation into food waste, the Mirosa Report and the NZ Champions’ Food Waste Reduction Roadmap. “We also need to invest in food waste solutions,” added Mirosa. Two options to do this are the Government’s Sustainable Food and Future Fibres Fund and the Waste Minimisation Fund. A number of food waste projects were however declined this year.

NZ Food Waste Champions has a vision of He Taonga Te Kai, an Aotearoa where food is valued, not wasted. The mission to halve food waste by 2030, is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3. The Champions 12.3 initiative currently has 9 NZ Champions and teams of citizens, working on food waste solutions.

Champion of 12.3, Nick Loosley, is the Founder of Everybody Eats, a restaurant where customers make donations for meals created from rescued food. “Reducing food waste is a tangible action that we can all take, whether that’s in how we choose to dine or how we eat at home” he said. The restaurateur wants New Zealanders to support the Champion’s organisations: NZ Food Network, KiwiHarvest, Eat NZ, Ecostock and many more.

It is hoped NZ Food Waste Champions’ upcoming partnership with WasteMINZ will amplify action on food waste. WasteMINZ Chief Executive, Janine Brinsdon said “Part of this partnership is about advocating to Government, to ensure its policy programme on food waste doesn’t continue to stall, and that practical food waste solutions are supported.”

With nine years left to reach the United Nations target of halving food waste by 2030, there is an urgent need to accelerate action.

Click here to take part in International Food Waste Awareness Day. Follow us at @nzchampions123 on Facebook and Instagram. Also check out these practical tips to reduce food waste at home from Love Food Hate Waste.

© Scoop Media

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