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Food loss and waste resources

Global overview on food wastage

A powerpoint presentation made by AFCCC soon after its formation which explains the extent of food loss and wastage on a global scale, and offers solutions.

The planet currently produces food for 10 billion people. The world population is 7 billion, yet the food gets to only 6 billion people.

Farming is the largest human endeavour on Earth, using 38% of all ice-free land.

Transport refrigeration alone could avoid 25% of food waste in developing countries.

If the same losses could be attained in developing countries as in the developed countries, the global food supply would
need to grow by only 15% by 2050, versus a forecast 70% growth.

18 October 2022

Foodbank Hunger Report 2022

On any given day in Australia, more than half a million households are struggling to put food on the table, and on a typical day, 306,000 households receive help from food relief organisations.

The report shows that the top two barriers to accessing food relief from services are shame or embarrassment and the belief that others are in greater need of assistance.  Foodbank is appealing to businesses and concerned people to help break down the stigma by sharing the report.

23 February 2022

Australian food loss and waste program well advanced

Stop Food Waste Australia, the body which is spearheading the measures which will help deliver the target of halving food waste by 2030, has just finished its first year and is on target to achieve its objectives. Chief Operating Officer Mark Barthel has provided an update on the challenges facing the program and the steps being taken at many levels to meet the targets. Food loss and waste costs the country $36.6 billion every year.

2 September 2021

National Food Waste Strategy is first major roadmap to reducing Australia's high rate of food waste

Australia's Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, the Hon Trevor Evans, has launched the National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study, as a first step towards a substantial reduction in the country's food waste. The study has been applauded by AFCCC chairman Mark Mitchell who has pledged his Council's support for FIAL, the organisation driving the food waste campaign.

31 May 2021

Study reveals critical role of refrigeration in food waste, production and emissions

The International Institute of Refrigeration has released its 7th Informatory Note on Refrigeration and Food which concludes that a more extensive cold chain would allow better use of the food produced and limit the need for increased agricultural production – with follow on reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

15 February 2021

The Path to Half

This report from Sustainability Victoria explains the true cost of food waste in Victoria and provides the first ever Australian perspective on the impacts of food waste and food production on climate change, water loss and economic costs.

It lists food waste solutions from across the globe and their potential to reduce food waste and its impacts in Victoria. This provides a clear picture of where to invest all efforts to get the best results from halving food waste.

8 September 2020

Beating the shrink on grocery shelves

A new study by McKinsey & Company showing how leading grocers are reducing waste and bolstering profits while keeping pace with shoppers' changing needs. Leading grocers around the world are already preparing for the 'new normal'. By harnessing 21st-century tools, mastering new approaches, and even going back to basics, they’re giving shoppers more of what they want, in every store every day, while reducing shrink by 20 to 30 percent and reinforcing their bottom lines.

16 May 2020


A report on the extent of Australia's food waste as it travels through the cold chain, prepared by the Expert Group for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and Refrigerants Australia. 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.

18 March 2020

Food: Too Good to Waste – Fight Food Waste CRC presentation to AFCCC by Mark Barthel, Special Advisor on food loss and waste and the state of the cold chain

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.

20 November 2019

A thorough report from the World Resources Institute, listing the ten interventions to scale impact for reducing global food loss and waste.

The executive summary says 'Reducing food loss and waste can help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, contribute to the Paris Agreement on climate change, and sustainably feed the planet by 2050. This report explores 10 “scaling interventions” that have the potential to increase the pace and geographic breadth of efforts
to reduce food loss and waste. For each, it addresses what it is, why it is needed, how it works, and what potential next steps are.

8 November 2019

The Australian Food Cold Chain: Identifying Issues and Implementing Improvements

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

AFCCC presentation at Montreal Protocol meeting, Rome, 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.


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

APEC 2019 Expert Consultation on Reducing Food Loss and Waste (FLW) for addressing interlinked challenges of food security and climate change in APEC member economies.

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.

4 August 2019

Report on APEC 2019 on the real value of food loss and waste to world communities

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.

18 June 2019

FDA explanation of 'best if used by' statements on food packaging

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 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.

10 June 2019

Climate change mitigation and food loss and waste reduction: Exploring the business case

This well researched report by the Netherlands-based Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security contains an excellent explanation of food loss and waste (FLW) and its relative terms, and also includes a summary of recent case studies to reduce FLW from 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.

20 March 2019

Australia's National Food Waste Baseline

This report 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.

Documents relating to tackling Australia's food waste on the Department of the Environment and Energy website

29 January 2019

Canadian research – the first in the world to measure volume (weight) using a standardised system acrdoss the whole food value chain

This is a thorough investigation by Second Harvest Canada 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.

Here's the Technical Report that accompanies the research

1 November 2018

Launch presentation of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in Australia

The report contains a wealth of information about food wastage. It was prepared by Dr Steve Lapidge, CEO of the CRC, and sponsored by the Australian Government's Department if Industry, Innovation and Science.


15 October 2018

Tackling the 1.6 billion ton food loss and waste crisis

An interesting report on global food waste from Boston Consulting Group, a leading management consulting company in Denmark.

21 September 2018

Oregon USA reports on the relationship of packaging to wasted food, and food transportation

The objective of this study was to review and summarise 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.

Specific sectors of interest can be seen on the Department's website.

11 September 2018

Updating the 2009 National Waste Policy: Less waste, more resources

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.

The Australian National Food Waste Assessment final report of 2011

The National Food Waste Assessment final report, commissioned by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 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?

The Australian national food waste policy

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.

Food waste fast facts

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.

Australian food waste facts

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.

Facts facts about the hunger crisis in Australia

Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia. In 2016, 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. 

Taiwan report throws strong light on food losses and waste reduction

This 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.