• The Western Australian government has launched its Post Harvest Food Waste Transformation project, assisting small to medium-sized businesses in quantifying and reducing their food waste to reduce landfill.
Source: Getty Images
    The Western Australian government has launched its Post Harvest Food Waste Transformation project, assisting small to medium-sized businesses in quantifying and reducing their food waste to reduce landfill. Source: Getty Images
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One of Australia's largest wholesale distribution companies, Metcash, is the latest signatory to the Australian Food Pact. It joins 37 other organisations committed to reducing food waste.  

The pact was launched in October 2021 and is led by End Food Waste Australia. It was set-up to provide expert advice to businesses and help them develop tailored food waste action plans, focusing on pre-emptive food waste prevention, donating surplus food, and food system transformation, collaboration, and innovation.

The pact currently has 37 signatories including Mars, Unilever, Simplot, McCain Foods, Goodman Fielder, TipTop, Coles, and Woolworths.

Every year, signatories establish a baseline year for food waste and report against it annually. This data provides valuable insights into the most impactful areas of food waste action and highlights which initiatives are working and where additional food waste reduction could occur.

Areas of action include moving food up the food waste hierarchy, such as improvements to safely capture surplus food so more can be donated to food rescue organisations.

In the first year of reporting, more than 54 million meals were provided to food rescue charities by Australian Food Pact signatories.

There is still a long way to go, with the equivalent of 29 million meals going to waste every day. 

Metcash supports a network of more than 1600 independently owned supermarket stores in Australia, including those operating under IGA and Foodland banners, and a range of private label products. 

Metcash Food executive GM Merchandise, Estella Young, said that reducing food waste supports the community, conserves resources, and plays a crucial role in addressing climate change.

“This partnership between Metcash and the Australian Food Pact represents our next major step in the national collaborative efforts required to end food waste.

“Joining the Australian Food Pact builds on the outstanding work our stores and team members have already done to reduce food waste and support food rescue. Since 2010, we’ve partnered with Foodbank, and as a founding supporter of Food for Change, we provided close to 2.5 million meals last year to those in need,” said Young.

End Food Waste Australia CEO, Dr Steven Lapidge, said food waste is a challenge too big for any one business or sector to solve alone.

“Food waste is a 7.6 million tonne and $36.6 billion challenge in Australia – collaboration across the supply chain is required to end food waste. The Australian Food Pact is a pledge of support for people and the planet, with businesses coming together for a food waste free Australia.

“End Food Waste Australia welcomes Metcash to the Australian Food Pact and thanks them for committing their time and resources to the bold and important goal of halving food waste by 2030.”

Further information about the Australian Food Pact can be viewed here.

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