16 May 2020
The long awaited report on the extent of Australia's food waste as it travels through the cold chain, prepared by the Expert Group, has just been released by its sponsors, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and Refrigerants Australia.
While quantifying the extent and the costs of food waste in the cold chain, it also lists opportunities for improvement.
Estimates of food waste attributable to breaks and deficiencies in the cold food chain are provided for the first time. Preliminary and conservative estimates put the cost of food waste within the cold food chain at $3.8 billion at farm gate values.
Temperature abuse is cited as one of the main reasons for food wastage, with the greatest risks for perishable food occurring during transportation and handling between mobile and stationary refrigeration points. There are sometimes huge temperature variations between truck or trailer, loading docks and storage facilities.
The AFCCC is very familiar with the causes of food wastage in the cold chain, and is working on a number of fronts to improve Australia's cold chain processes and standards. It is currently working towards a universally adopted code to help all cold chain practitioners lift their compliance record.
READ A STUDY OF WASTE IN THE COLD FOOD CHAIN AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
18 March 2020
UK expert Mark Barthel reveals that Australia has a poor reputation of managing fresh food supply and delivery, with a very poor human involvement at all levels of the cold chain. On top of failures in the cold chain, between 40% and 60% of food crops in Australia never make it to a table. Cold chain integrity is seriously lacking, and the scale of over-production is 'criminal'. Australia lags behind other countries, particularly the UK, in its initiatives to reach the target of halving food wastage by 2030.
8 November 2019
Refrigerants Australia Secretary Dr Greg Picker, in Rome for the 31st Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, delivered a detailed report on the Australian Food Cold Chain – Identifying Issues and Implementing Improvements. This presentation is an excellent up-to-date study of the extent of food loss and waste and its consequences, drawing on the latest findings of the Cold Hard Facts reports, compiled by the Expert Group on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Energy.
7 November 2019
The fight against food loss and wastage in the cold chain has gained considerable new ground as a result of AFCCC Chairman Mark Mitchell's presentation at this top level international forum in Rome. Mark was invited by Australia's Department of the Environment to deliver a cold chain presentation at the Montreal Protocol meeting in Rome, held at the impressive United Nations Food and Agricultural Organsation (FAO) building. His presentation focused on identifying issues in the cold chain and implementing improvements.
23 October 2019
Cold Hard Facts 2019
Cold Hard Facts 2019 is the 4th edition in the Cold Hard Facts series that began in 2006. Cold Hard Facts 2019 updates the findings of Cold Hard Facts 3 by incorporating industry data from 2017 and 2018. The Cold Hard Fact series is underpinned by a techno-economic model of the refrigeration and air conditioning sector that has been developed over the course of completing dozens of research projects into the sector. The primary output of this model is to track changes in the make-up of the working bank of refrigerants in Australia, and to report mass flows of refrigerants through their life cycle from import, to utilisation, to disposal and destruction or loss to atmosphere. This work supports Australia in meeting its international commitments under the Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone depleting substances, and to phase down HFCs.
14 October 2019
Horticulture supply chain workshop – Brisbane 5 September 2019
The AFCCC was invited to present an overview of the current state of the food cold chain in Australia, together with an introduction to some of the guiding principles and requirements necessary for its improvement. AFCCC Chairman Mark Mitchell prepared and delivered the presentation which was well received and triggered positive feedback. Mark noted that the feedback was quite astounding about getting the cold chain right. It was obvious that the problem is certainly on top of the list for quite a few stakeholders in horticulture. Clearly a compliant cold chain is being demanded as an essential tool to build Australia's' horticulture produce as a premium brand, and if the industry doesn't pursue a compliance regime, it will lag behind others, and risk continuing food loss and waste.
30 September 2019
This paper, by (Lilly) Hsin-I Hsiao Associate Professor of the Department of Food Science at National Taiwan Ocean University, explores the assessing of the potential of the cold chain to reduce GHG emissions through food loss and waste reduction.
30 September 2019
An excellent paper dealing with the importance of a uniform methodology for measurement of food loss and waste, presented to the APEC 2019 Expert Consultation session, by Brian Lipinski of the World Resources Institute.
He points out that 'measurement itself is an act of prevention' and explains the FLW Value Calculator which is in Beta test version. This calculator creates a snapshot of the impacts related to the loss and waste of different types of food. With this knowledge, you can demonstrate how your efforts to prevent food loss and waste provide nutritional and environmental value.
2 September 2019
RMIT University and Empauer, with the participation of the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance have released a detailed report on the role of packaging in the management of fresh produce in Australia.
Insights gained in their research has led to key recommendations regarding how to ensure packaging formats continue to provide protection and longevity for fresh produce, as well as what this means in the broader contexts of fresh produce supply chains. Further research is also suggested to this end, in order for industry players to continue to innovate to address supply, waste, and market challenges into the future.
4 August 2019
AFCCC Chairman Mark Mitchell represented the Australian cold chain industry at the APEC 2019 Expert Consultation in Taipei in late July 2019, where critical information about the measures that need to be taken to reduce food loss and waste was shared among the APEC nations. He reported that the APEC Member Economies demonstrated once again a willingness to take action in reducing FLW in our region, and thanks to the efforts of the Council of Agriculture in Taiwan this event was another productive effort.
1 July 2019
The Leaders' declaration released at the end of the G20 meeting of world leaders in Japan on 29 June 2019 included an encouraging reference to food waste as an issue to be taken seriously in the future. While the words seem limited, it is an encouraging sign for future work on food waste, if only at a domestic level to start with.
Here is the declaration that appears under Agriculture 25:
In order to achieve food security and improve nutrition for the growing world population, agricultural productivity needs to increase and distribution needs to be more efficient, including by reducing food loss and waste, in a way more compatible with the sustainable management of natural resources. To this end, we highlight the importance of access to and utilization of existing, new and advanced technologies, such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics among others, and encourage cross-sectoral collaboration among stakeholders. We also encourage innovation, skills training and lifelong education for all, in attracting new entrants and empowering youth and women in the agro-food sector. We recognize the importance of developing sustainable, science-based and resilient agro-food value chains, in an inclusive and equitable manner, including family farming and small scale farmers, which will also contribute to revitalizing rural areas. We emphasize the need for continued and enhanced information sharing and research collaboration to respond to existing and emerging animal and plant health issues. We will further encourage voluntary exchange of good practices and knowledge towards more sustainable agrofood sector.
3 July 2019
The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre in which AFCCC is participating, released a newsletter explaining current projects and others that are on their way.
18 June 2019
One of the big contributors to food waste is consumer confusion over what 'Best if used by' and similar statements on food packages actually mean. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US has recently published an explanation that may help consumers and encourage food manufacturers to adopt a standard term that best expresses the shelf life of packaged foods. In short, the phrase 'Best if used by' clarifies that the date label is about quality, not safety, and that if stored properly, products do not necessarily have to be discarded after the date. To help dispel this confusion, the FDA is supporting the food industry’s efforts to standardise the use of the term “Best if Used By” on its packaged-food labeling if the date is simply related to optimal quality — not safety.
17 June 2019
International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA) in the USA, has develped a Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide, to help shippers, loaders, rail or motor carriers and receivers comply with the 2016 release of the Food and Drug Administration's final rule for the Santiary Transportation of Human and Animal Food.
10 June 2019
The Netherlands-based Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has released a well researched and presented report ‘Climate change mitigation and food loss and waste reduction: Exploring the business case’.
It contains an excellent explanation of food loss and waste (FLW) and its relative terms, and also includes a great summary of recent case studies to reduce FLW from various global organisations in different countries. It also explores three African food production activities in detail where FLW measures are applied and the effects are examined. One of these is dairy production in Kenya and the role small scale refrigeration is able to play in reducing milk spoilage across the diverse home and small farm environments typically found in Africa and other developing countries.
20 March 2019
The key findings of Australia's National Food Waste Baseline have been released. This provides a benchmark for measuring national performance against the reduction target, by establishing a consistent framework to quantify food waste generation and to track progress.
29 January 2019
Second Harvest Canada has released a thorough investigation of that country's food loss across the entire supply chain.
It is the largest food rescue organisation in Canada, and global thought leader on food recovery. Their investigation shows that nearly 60 per cent of food produced in Canada is lost and wasted annually.
1 November 2018
The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has been launched. The presentation on the day makes for interesting reading and contains a wealth of information about food wastage.
1 November 2018
Cold Hard Facts 3 provides an economic and technological assessment of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia in 2016. The report includes an analysis of the size and economic value of the industry, the equipment and refrigerant gas bank, trends in gas imports and equipment, and direct and indirect emissions in this sector. It expands on, and where possible, makes comparisons with two previous studies; Cold Hard Facts 1 published in 2007, and Cold Hard Facts 2, published in 2013.
15 October 2018
An interesting report on global food waste from Boston Consulting Group, a leading management consulting company.
21 September 2018
Specific sectors of interest can be seen on the Department's website.
The objective of this study is to review and summarize existing literature regarding the environmental impacts of a variety of foods. The literature is focused on environmental life cycle analyses of foods. This information may be helpful to producers and purchasers working to reduce environmental impacts of foods.
11 September 2018
The Centre for Supply Chain & Logistics (CSCL) at Deakin University is a specialist research and education centre providing independent, industry‐focused study and development. CSCL’s goal is to provide robust knowledge to support and deliver value to organisations, businesses and individuals operating in the supply chain industry.
11 September 2018
The purpose of this discussion paper is to seek input on priority issues to be considered in future Australian waste management and resource recovery. Feedback will inform updates to the 2009 National Waste Policy for consideration by environment ministers later this year.
26 August 2018
A lightly edited version of the Sir John Crawford Memorial address delivered by the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, in Canberra on 13 August 2018.
23 August 2018
A discussion paper on the initial findings of industry consultation into barriers to energy efficiency in the Walk-in cool room sector in Victoria.
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia USA this is the Global Food Cold Chain Council, with which the Australian Food Cold Chain Council will be affiliated and share concepts and ideas.
The global body's missions are to identify and develop standards and practices to increase access to the food cold chain and reduce food waste; to encourage solutions, policies and actions to increase access to a sustainable food cold chain; and to align with national, regional and international bodies, organizations and governments.
The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) was launched in 2007, and serves as the focused voice of the cold chain industry. GCCA is a platform for communication, networking and education for each link of the cold chain. It serves more than 1,300 companies in 75 countries that serve the food industry by providing third-party, temperature-controlled supply chain services. Over 40 percent of GCCA members are outside North America. It represents all major industries engaged in temperature-controlled logistics. GCCA is headquartered in Alexandria, VA with offices or affiliates in Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Guatemala, India, and the United Kingdom.
HACCP Australia is a leading food science organisation specialising in the HACCP Food Safety Methodology and its applications within the food and related non food industries. HACCP is a voluntary process, therefore compliance is lacking in many sectors of the cold chain.
The National Food Waste Assessment final report, commissioned by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. This report collates and reviews the quality and nature of 1,262 food waste studies conducted in Australia, ranging from regional waste management authority reporting and research papers to national studies. The report answers three questions: what do we know about food waste in Australia; how good is the knowledge; and who are the knowledge holders?
Working together to reduce food waste in Australia. The National Waste Policy heralds a coherent, efficient and environmentally responsible approach to waste management in Australia. The policy, agreed by all Australian environment ministers in November 2009, and endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments, sets Australia's waste management and resource recovery direction to 2020.
The FoodWise website aims to create a one-stop food sustainability website where people and organisations can share information. It is about building public understanding of the power of consumers and what they can do to build a better food future. By bringing together a community of people who love food, FoodWise wants to create a more sustainable approach to the way that food is grown, distributed, consumed and disposed of.
OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it directly to more than 1,000 charities supporting people in need across the country.
Food relief agencies are not able to meet demand. Nearly 90% of agencies reported not having enough food to meet total demand. 6 in 10 agencies require at least 25% more food with almost 3 in 10 agencies requiring double the food.
Foodbank is by far the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia. In 2016 alone, they provided enough food for over 60 million meals. Foodbank is a non-denominational, non-profit organisation which acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry. It was first established in 1992 in NSW and now has a presence in every state and the Northern Territory with distribution centres in all state capitals as well as a number of regional centres. The demand for food relief is rising, irrespective of national economic growth. According to the Foodbank Hunger Report 2016, the previous year saw an increase of 8% in the number of people seeking food relief.
One presentation rocked the audience at the World Cold Chain Summit in Vietnam in March 2018, showing for the first time the real percentages of losses in the middle section of the food production and supply.
The massive report from Dr Shih-Hsun-Hsu from the National Taiwan University showed that APEC nations lose 74.02% of food between production and consumption. Of that figure, 16.45% is lost in storage and handling, 29.20% is lost in processing and packing and 28.37% is lost in distribution.
AFCCC chairman Mark Mitchell commented that it made him realise that stronger action needs to be taken in Australia.
With the kind permission of Dr Shih-Hsun-Hsu the presentation is available by clicking the link above.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) represents the major Australian logistics supply chain customers, providers, infrastructure owners and suppliers
spanning the entire supply chain, incorporating road, rail, sea, air, sea ports and intermodal ports.
ALC works with all levels of government to ensure it considers the needs of the logistics industry in its investment and policy decisions.
ALC focuses its advocacy efforts on five key areas with the aim of improving supply chain efficiency:
Supply Chain Logistics Safety; Infrastructure; Regulation; Technology; People
ALC’s focus on these five key issues recognises the importance of efficient supply chains to Australia’s economic and social prosperity.
High performing supply chains, underpinned by consistent regulation, appropriate national infrastructure and seamless information transfer across the
freight logistics industry, enable the smooth flow of goods from production to consumption. .