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Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) has started its $400,000 National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study. In 2017, the Australian government committed to halve food waste by 2030, the study is seen as a crucial step in achieving that target.

The national waste report in 2013 found more than five million tonnes of food ends up in landfill – enough to fill 9,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – every year.

FIAL managing director Dr Mirjana Prica said the study was a positive step towards the goal of havling food waste. “It is undoubtedly an ambitious goal and how to achieve this needs to be adequately understood,” she said.

The feasibility study was identified in FIAL’s Roadmap for Reducing Australia’s Food Waste by Half by 2030, released earlier this year, as a crucial first step in reducing Australia’s food waste.

The study will:

  • fill significant data gaps;
  • increase understanding around the environmental impacts of food waste in production, consumption and waste management;
  • identify food waste ‘hotspots’ across the value chain and the solutions for their reduction; develop a number of scenarios under which the target could be achieved and the costed delivery trajectories of these; and
  • make recommendations on which delivery trajectories and initiatives will most likely see the target achieved.

FIAL said it will bring together an international consortium of individuals and organisations with globally recognised expertise. “The feasibility study will test whether this commitment to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030 is indeed possible and what actions will increase the likelihood of achieving this target,” it said.

Australia’s largest dedicated sustainability consultancy, Edge Environment, has been appointed by FIAL as the lead consultancy alongside WRAP, 3Keel and Lifecycles.

Edge Environment head of strategy Max Van Bien said: “FIAL has a demonstrated track record in building collaborations across sectors, supply chains and industry groups to tackle food waste. We are thrilled to be a part of the consortium that will see the full suite of required skills, and market-specific expertise to address these challenging feasibility questions.”

Over the past two years, FIAL has been working closely with multiple stakeholders to identify the steps required to make the food waste reduction target a reality.

These stakeholders include food rescue and relief organisations, agri-food industry peak bodies, the Fight Food Waste CRC, the National Food Waste Strategy Steering Committee, the States and Territory Government Reference Group, and various national and international food waste experts.

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