A new toolkit developed by CQUniversity researchers with the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre is poised to help Australian households reduce their massive amounts of food waste.
Food waste currently costs Australia $36.6 billion, with households contributing $19 billion – or over half – of that value. With Australia committed to halving its food waste by 2030, a reduction of at least 30% by households is required to meet this target.
The Household Food Waste Reduction Toolkit: A Step-By-Step Guide to Delivering Interventions in Australia is the first national and comprehensive guide to help practitioners design and deliver household food waste reduction interventions.
The toolkit is a shared initiative by the Fight Food Waste CRC and CQUniversity, supported by funding from the Australian Government's Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
Project leader and CQUniversity academic Dr Gamithri Karunasena says the toolkit is designed to be used by those seeking to help individuals in households to reduce their food waste, including:
* Organisations sponsoring interventions such as supermarkets, food service businesses, food manufacturers with consumer facing brands, governments (federal, state and local), charities and community groups.
* Policy makers (e.g. federal, state, territory and local governments).
* Individuals responsible for program and communication delivery.
* Researchers who are contributing to understanding food provisioning behaviours in households and how to create more impactful food waste reduction interventions.
“With current cost-of-living pressures, many Australian households are looking to save money wherever they can and reducing food waste is one really simple and effective way to do that. Reducing food waste at home can help the average household save thousands of dollars each year,” Dr Karunasena says.
“There’s been a strong need for a guide such as this for some time in Australia. It's full of evidence-based guidance around interventions focusing on the most impactful behaviours, consumer segments, and food categories and products for the entire nation to reduce its household food waste.”
Dr Karunasena says the Toolkit includes learnings from three household food waste reduction trials implemented by a local government authority, a state government authority and a not-for-profit organisation.
“We have completed two of these trials and the preliminary findings are very promising” she says.
“Findings suggest that this toolkit will provide real impact for not only those people who’ll use it, but just as importantly, for Australian households. Every Australian needs to do their part to reduce food waste and the toolkit is an important step forward in helping with this.”
Fight Food Waste CRC Chief Executive Officer Dr Steven Lapidge says that the new toolkit will be immensely helpful in delivering consistent nationwide consumer-focussed food waste behaviour change, a priority area of the 2017 Australian Government National Food Waste Strategy.
CQUniversity is a foundation research partner in Fight Food Waste CRC and is home to the ENGAGE program, one of three research programs part of the $120 million, ten-year research centre.