It is well known that in Australia there is a massive wastage of food , from the farmers to the storage facilities to the supermarkets, to the factories and finally from us the consumers.
According to OZHarvest, 50 percent of all the food wasted (read thrown away) is from consumers.
We buy too much, we don’t keep a close eye on the shelflife of our food, we buy what we don’t need, or we are confused about what best before and use by mean.
If you add it all up, it is waste that could and should not happen.
So what is happening to try to reduce this monumental social, economic and environmental problem?
The Federal Government has recently introduced the National Food Waste Strategy. However it has only pledged $1 37 million to get it going. The Strategy has four priority areas– policy support, business improvements, market development and behaviour change. What is needed now is a plan for action and tight timeframes for those actions to happen.
The focus of the Strategy is obviously to reduce waste at levels which the government has some control of influence – industry and government itself. Therefore this Strategy will do very little to impact on the waste from the public. We need to somehow make wasting food to be socially unacceptable, without making it ridiculous.
The aim is to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. This is a long time, although it will go by quickly, to take to reduc food waste significantly. There has to be a tighter timeframe to get this national (and in fact international) disaster under control.
Businesses and government need to take the lead and make decisions now to act immediately to get it done and the new Strategy does not go far enough or quickly enough. But it is the public which must make the biggest change to make it work in the long run.
Only buying what you need, keeping an eye on shelflife and being prepared (and happy) to buy fruit etc that are not perfect – will all make immediate change and reduce consumer’s 50 percent contribution.