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Ronni Kahn launches new strategy to tackle food waste

Ozharvest has launched an Australian-first campaign to reduce food waste in homes

Australia’s leading food rescue charity has launched the nation’s first campaign aimed at inspiring an end to significant food waste among consumers.

OzHarvest has implemented the Fight Food Waste program to tackle the substantial waste consumption of consumers, which the charity reports is collectively worse than supermarkets, restaurants, manufacturers and farms combined.

OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn, said that increasing customer awareness and education of the major food waste issues could be key to preventing further costs to the economy, adding that change is required at all levels of society.

“The statistics are staggering but the solutions are simple and there is no greater force than people power. Fight Food Waste aims to tackle the problem from the bottom up by changing behaviour at home with how you look, buy, store and cook food.”

According to research by the Department of the Environment and Energy, food waste in Australia is estimated to cost the national economy $20 billion each year in waste from commercial and residential environments.

The research also found that over 5.3 million tonnes of food ends up in a landfill each year with the average household wasting $1,050 worth of groceries in this time. Globally, landfill waste releases greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

According to research by OzHarvest and South Cross Austereo, Australians are willing to contribute to change with over 90 per cent of respondents saying they want to reduce food waste. Over half also agreed waste was an inappropriate use of money.

On average, Australians are wasting 13 per cent of their weekly grocery shop, half of this being vegetables and fruits. To combat this, respondents attitudes towards avoiding the issue was either by eating leftovers or freezing food.

“Food is so precious, wasting it makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically – but we all do it,” Kahn said. “From forgetting about food in the fridge, buying and cooking too much, letting it expire and not storing it properly, there are so many reasons good food ends up in the bin.”

OzHarvest is encouraging consumers to join the movement and to implement practical tips to reduce food waste in a national effort to halve waste by 2030.

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