Dairy industry collaborates to halve food waste

The Australian dairy industry has again taken the lead on sustainability in agriculture by publishing a sector-wide action plan to reduce food waste. Dairy is the first Australian agricultural sector to take this significant step.

Dairy Australia Managing Director, Dr David Nation, said that food waste from the dairy supply chain has previously been identified as one of the six highest Australian food waste sources.

“The dairy industry has been working to reduce food waste and extend shelf life of products for decades. This new commitment takes us much further, leading the agriculture sector on sustainability and setting a goal to halve food waste by 2030.

“This plan will galvanise the sector to progress opportunities to solve our food waste challenges. It seeks to ensure that we maximise the number of people we can feed with, and the value derived from the dairy products our industry has worked hard to produce, while also reducing environmental impacts,” he said.

The Dairy Sector Food Waste Action Plan was developed by Dairy Australia in collaboration with the Australian Dairy Products Federation and Stop Food Waste Australia, and with input from dairy businesses across the country.

Janine Waller, Executive Director of the Australian Dairy Products Federation, said that sustainability and good practices are important for dairy farms, dairy manufacturers, and for the future of the planet.

“Developing the Dairy Sector Food Waste Action Plan has given us unique insights into where, what, and how much food waste is occurring across the dairy supply chain, which is particularly important when we’re managing the challenges of food inflation and a declining raw milk pool.

“Together, we have identified 10 key actions to reduce waste – from investing in R&D and technical solutions, to effective inventory management systems to monitor and report on waste, partnering with food rescue organisations, promoting sustainable packaging solutions, and educating consumers through product labelling and storage advice”, she said.

Mark Barthel, Chief Operating Officer at Stop Food Waste Australia, said that food waste is a $36 billion challenge in Australia and if successfully implemented the initiatives in this plan will deliver significant economic, social, and environmental benefits.

“Reducing dairy food waste across the supply chain can save millions of dollars annually. Studies show that just a 1% reduction in food waste could result in savings of up to $10 million for dairy manufacturers, which would increase their ability to remain competitive in local and international markets.         

“The benefits of reducing food waste go beyond financial gains. Effectively preventing and managing dairy food waste can reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20%, while also conserving water and energy and significantly reducing ecological footprint,” he said.

The Dairy Sector Food Waste Action Plan aligns with the goal of the Australian Government and Australian Dairy Industry Council to halve food waste by 2030. The Australian dairy industry’s commitment to sustainable practices, including reducing waste, is highlighted in the 2021 Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework report.

The Dairy Sector Food Waste Action Plan is available on the Dairy Australia website.

This project was supported by the Victorian Government’s Circular Economy Business Support Fund as part of the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC).

You're viewing the Dairy Australia website. To view regional dairy information, select a region.
Cookies help Dairy Australia improve your website experience. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.