A key part of the efforts to lower food waste is the Victorian Government’s proposed Circular Economy Regulations 2023, recently closing for public consultation. It is the latest regulatory development designed to manage and de-risk the infrastructure that supports waste reduction.
With Victoria producing 50% of all Australian-made foods and 25% Australia’s national food waste, the state’s food and beverage manufacturers have a large role to play in achieving food waste targets.
Encouragingly, not only is progress being made to advance the circular economy at a state-wide level, but there is mounting evidence manufacturers are embracing the food waste challenge.
Camilla Waterhouse, CommBank’s Executive Manager ESG, says, “[We] are seeing small and medium [manufacturers] innovate and play a proactive role in the transition to a more sustainable economy.”
“Transitioning to a circular resource use framework will play a critical role in both reducing food and packaging waste, and it is an important contributor to our national decarbonisation goals”.
CommBank’s latest Manufacturing Insights report confirmed that 88% of manufacturers believe sustainable manufacturing is important or essential. Reducing and responsibly managing waste was the top-rated sustainability initiative, with 39% already active and 46% planning programs.
Tim Wilson, General Manager Quality at end-to-end food development and manufacturing business Flavour Makers, adds that waste reduction is already part of the industry’s DNA. “We don’t see food waste reduction strictly through a sustainability lens. Maximising yield, reducing wastage and giveaways through the process is also good business.”