Food Waste Facts


OzHarvest is passionate about minimising food waste and protecting our environment for future generations. Here’s why…

Local food facts

  • Australians throw out $8-10 billion of food every year. As a nation we waste four million tonnes per annum of food which ends up in landfill.[1]
  • Australians throw out one out of every five shopping bags, which equates to every Australian household throwing out $1,036 worth of groceries each year. [2]
  • Australia produces enough food to feed approx. 60 million people, yet two million people still rely on food relief every year.[3]
  • 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. [4]

Global food loss and waste facts

  • Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.[5]
  • Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes). [6]
  • Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change. [7]
  • While the planet is struggling to provide us with enough resources to sustain its 7 billion people (growing to 9 billion by 2050), FAO estimates that a third of global food production is either wasted or lost. Food waste is an enormous drain on natural resources and a contributor to negative environmental impacts.
  • If food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used in the production of all the food are also lost. For example, it takes about 1,000 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk and about 16,000 litres goes into a cow’s food to make a hamburger. The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food supply chain, all end up in vain when we waste food.
  • Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on natural resources and the environment, this year’s theme – Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint – encourages you to become more aware of the impacts of your food choices and empowers you to make informed decisions.


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[1] Foodwise,

[2] Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study 2009

[3] DAFF, National Food Plan 2012

[4] End Hunger Report, Foodbank, 2012

[5] FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome

[6] FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome

[7] FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome