• DIRECT, created by Empauer with RMIT University and the End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, maps the entire supply chain from farm, processing, logistics, and retail, up to the point where chain of custody is lost. (Image Source: Empauer)
    DIRECT, created by Empauer with RMIT University and the End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, maps the entire supply chain from farm, processing, logistics, and retail, up to the point where chain of custody is lost. (Image Source: Empauer)
  • DIRECT maps the entire supply chain from farm, processing, logistics, and retail, up to the point where chain of custody is lost. it was created by Empauer, RMIT University, and the Fight Food Waste CRC.  



The National Food Waste Summit returns on 24-25 July, bringing together the brightest minds and leaders committed to creating a more productive, sustainable, and resilient Australian food system by ending food waste and food insecurity. In the lead-up to the summit, Food & Drink Business is profiling some of the changemakers that will be on-hand at the summit’s Trade Show. This week we hear from Empauer.
    DIRECT maps the entire supply chain from farm, processing, logistics, and retail, up to the point where chain of custody is lost. it was created by Empauer, RMIT University, and the Fight Food Waste CRC.   The National Food Waste Summit returns on 24-25 July, bringing together the brightest minds and leaders committed to creating a more productive, sustainable, and resilient Australian food system by ending food waste and food insecurity. In the lead-up to the summit, Food & Drink Business is profiling some of the changemakers that will be on-hand at the summit’s Trade Show. This week we hear from Empauer.
  • The National Food Waste Summit returns on 24-25 July, bringing together the brightest minds and leaders committed to creating a more productive, sustainable, and resilient Australian food system by ending food waste and food insecurity. In the lead-up to the summit, Food & Drink Business is profiling some of the changemakers that will be on-hand at the summit’s Trade Show. This week we hear from Empauer.
    The National Food Waste Summit returns on 24-25 July, bringing together the brightest minds and leaders committed to creating a more productive, sustainable, and resilient Australian food system by ending food waste and food insecurity. In the lead-up to the summit, Food & Drink Business is profiling some of the changemakers that will be on-hand at the summit’s Trade Show. This week we hear from Empauer.
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The National Food Waste Summit returns on 24-25 July, bringing together the brightest minds and leaders committed to creating a more productive, sustainable, and resilient Australian food system by ending food waste and food insecurity. In the lead-up to the summit, Food & Drink Business is profiling some of the changemakers that will be on-hand at the summit’s Trade Show. This week we hear from Empauer.

The volume of food waste in Australia poses a significant challenge to both environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.  To address this, businesses across the food and beverage supply chain are uniquely positioned to drive change in this arena.  

Technology and its integration for businesses can play a significant role in identifying and mitigating food loss and waste, one such tool is DIRECT, which was created by Empauer with RMIT University and the End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre.

DIRECT maps the entire supply chain from farm, processing, logistics, and retail, up to the point where chain of custody is lost. 

 

Corporate Value Associates partner, Robert Poole, said “By leveraging data-driven analysis, businesses can uncover patterns, trends, and potential sources of waste reduction, enabling them to implement precise interventions and optimise operations.  The essence of this approach lies in identifying existing opportunities.

“Corporate engagement in food waste reduction is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic necessity. Beyond fulfilling ethical obligations, waste reduction initiatives offer tangible economic benefits, including cost savings, enhanced brand reputation, and regulatory compliance.  

“What should not be overlooked is that as consumer preferences increasingly prioritise sustainability, businesses that fail to address food waste risk alienating a growing segment of their customer base and losing competitive advantage in the market.”

The challenges posed by food waste demand innovative solutions and bold action from corporate leaders.  

As noted by Poole, “Business as usual will no longer cut it.  To remain profitable, relevant and resilient in the face of mounting environmental, legislative and social pressures, businesses must embrace a paradigm shift towards sustainability, integrating waste reduction into their core business strategies and operations.”

In addition to its environmental and economic implications, food waste contributes significantly to climate change through the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs).  

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), food waste accounts for approximately eight per cent of global GHG emissions, making it a significant contributor to global warming. 

Leveraging technology to unveil the true cost of waste

DIRECT maps the entire supply chain from farm, processing, logistics, and retail, up to the point where chain of custody is lost. it was created by Empauer, RMIT University, and the Fight Food Waste CRC.  
The National Food Waste Summit returns on 24-25 July, bringing together the brightest minds and leaders committed to creating a more productive, sustainable, and resilient Australian food system by ending food waste and food insecurity. In the lead-up to the summit, Food & Drink Business is profiling some of the changemakers that will be on-hand at the summit’s Trade Show. This week we hear from Empauer.
DIRECT maps the entire supply chain from farm, processing, logistics, and retail, up to the point where chain of custody is lost. it was created by Empauer, RMIT University, and the Fight Food Waste CRC. (Source: End Food Waste Australia.)

A key factor of using tools like DIRECT is to quickly generate baselines for reporting, diagnostics and decision-making, whilst also building food waste management into business-as-usual processes and procedures.

This creates a foundation for priority actions based on an understanding of risk and costs in key food categories, in specific parts of the supply chain and/or from specific suppliers.

Empauer co-founder and CEO, Victor Barichello, said, “Quantifying the true cost of waste is essential for driving meaningful change within corporate environments.  While direct costs, such as disposal fees and lost product value, are readily apparent, indirect costs, including wasted resources, labour, and energy, often go unnoticed.”  

It is important to adopt a holistic approach to cost analysis, encompassing both tangible and intangible costs, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the financial ramifications of waste.  

Through the quantification food waste costs, businesses gain a direct line of sight to appreciate the economic case for waste reduction and make informed decisions regarding resource allocation and investment in waste reduction initiatives.

Identifying Hotspots and Intervention Strategies

Poole said, “Hotspots within the supply chain, across farm, processing, retail and home – represent critical areas for intervention, offering opportunities for waste reduction and cost savings.

“The use of tech can provide rigorous waste audits and root cause analyses; businesses can identify inefficiencies and implement targeted interventions.

“The range of intervention strategies, including process optimisation, packaging innovations, surplus food redistribution, and consumer education campaigns, providing detailed guidance on their implementation, potential impact, and scalability.”  

While Poole recognises that hotpots require addressing, he makes the point that “we should not discount the importance of collaboration and stakeholder engagement in driving systemic change and fostering a culture of sustainability within and beyond organisational boundaries”.

For Barichello, “Addressing food waste requires a holistic and proactive approach, grounded in rigorous measurement, analysis, and intervention, but importantly, it requires management to commit to its reduction. The goal it that businesses minimise their food waste footprint, realise cost savings, increase profits, and enhance brand reputation while contributing to broader societal and environmental goals.”

You can learn more about Empauer’s work and the DIRECT tool for food waste measurement here.

For more information about the National Food Waste Summit, click here.

To register, click here – and use the special Food & Drink Business reader discount code 75NFWS for $75 off your ticket.

Packaging News

At the Global Food Conference in Brisbane yesterday (17 July), Visy CEO Anthony Pratt delivered a keynote address of positivity and promise for food systems and packaging circularity.

A $40m investment in advanced mechanical recycling for soft plastics will see the construction of a new processing facility in South Australia at Recycling Plastics Australia’s Kilburn premises, with the application of proprietary technology supplied by PreOne.

The concepts of 'collection' and 'creation' have come together in a new brand identity for fast-expanding packaging and resource recovery and recycling operation Close the Loop, which has positioned itself as a circular economy leader operating in four major global regions.