The Australian government has announced a $30 million grant to go towards the creation of a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) on food waste.

The CRC is crucial to the delivery of the Australian Government’s National Food Waste Strategy, Australia’s contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to fighting hunger in Australia, according to hunger relief organisation and CRC partner Foodbank Australia.

“We’re thrilled to be a CRC partner and to see so many of our food and grocery donors actively championing this significant, industry-led initiative,” Foodbank Australia CEO Brianna Casey said.

“Food rescue is pivotal to our operations at Foodbank. To know that we now have a concerted, long-term focus on identifying, reducing and re-directing food gives us hope that new in-roads can be made into tackling the hidden crisis of food insecurity in Australia.”

Foodbank says it has been an active champion for the establishment of the Food Waste CRC, involved every step of the way including the final bid process.

“More than 5 million tonnes of food intended for human consumption is wasted in the food supply chain, including from domestic households, each year in Australia. Up to 25% of all vegetables produced by our wonderful farmers don’t even leave the farm,” Casey said.

“The CRC will help us identify this critically important food and ensure it fulfils its purpose, ending up on the tables of everyday Australians who may have otherwise gone to bed hungry.”

Foodbank also said it will be releasing a new report on Sunday, entitled Rumbling Tummies, looking at child hunger in Australia.

“The shocking findings of this report should serve as a wake-up call to all Australians, reinforcing the need for urgent action not only on food waste, but also food insecurity,” Casey said.