A thriving, efficient and sustainable food industry is central to Australia’s economy, regional job security and prosperity, yet 40% of all the food we produce goes to waste.
To help Gippslanders understand ways that they can fight food waste in their homes and their businesses, the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is collaborating with Food & Fibre Gippsland to offer an interactive afternoon of forums at Farm World, Lardner Park on Friday April 12 from 1:15 to 3:30pm.
The forums will cover three topics including; Food Waste Opportunities for horticulture companies, the business case for reducing food waste in Retail and Restaurants, and help for every day Australians to reduce their food waste at home.
Food & Fibre Gippsland is a member of the Fight Food Waste CRC, and interim CEO Dr Nicola Watts said the forums provide an opportunity to build on to existing initiatives.
“We have to look at waste in different ways and see it as resource” she said.
Dr Steve Lapidge, CEO of the Fight Food Waste CRC will be facilitating the forums and will be bringing a broad range of insights and information to share.
“If you are a Gippsland horticulture company growing fruit and vegetables or a food processor in the region, with waste streams that could be better utilized, there are funding opportunities for research and development which could benefit your business” he said.
There will also be a forum for retailers and restaurants as a growing number of businesses in this sector are embracing opportunities to fight food waste.
“We are finding that retailers, restaurants and cafes are wanting to reduce the direct costs associated with sending food waste to landfill, and also develop ways to turn food waste utilization into a marketing edge and profit” said Dr Lapidge.
“Together with Food & Fibre Gippsland, we encourage Gippsland horticulture companies, food processors retail businesses and restaurants to come to these free workshops to tap into ideas with the potential to positively impact their bottom line” he said.
The final forum on offer as part of this series will outline ways for every day households to address the food waste that can be caused by misconceptions around what food should look like, as well as confusion surrounding “best before” and “use by” dates.
Dr Lapidge believes that food waste is partly generated due to the disconnect between what a family puts on its plate to eat each night for dinner and how well we understand how the food got to our plate from the farm.
“It is really important that we value food in the way our grandparents did, and by changing our attitudes to food, there can be significant opportunities to cut down on food waste and deliver benefit back to the family budget “he concluded.
Participation in these Fight Food Waste Forums is free and people are encouraged to secure a seat by registering online at https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/farmworld-2019/listing
Attendees will need to pay entry to Farm World to access the workshops.