OzHarvest and the United Nations call on Australia’s leaders to reduce food waste

by OzAdmin

June 1, 2015


OzHarvest and the United Nations call on Australia’s leaders to reduce food waste

by OzAdmin

OzHarvest and the United Nations call on Australia’s leaders to reduce food waste

This Thursday, 4 June Australia’s leading food rescue organisation OzHarvest will be teaming up with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN’s Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (SAVE FOOD) to lead the third annual Think.Eat.Save campaign in Australia and raise awareness on global food loss and waste reduction.

The campaign will launch at the nation’s capital at Parliament House Canberra on the eve of World Environment Day, June 4, and culminate in the national Think.Eat.Save event taking place across seven Australian cities (capital and regional) on Monday 27 July.

In a welcome display of cross-party support, Environment Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Shadow Environment, Climate Change and Water Minister the Hon Mark Butler MP, Deputy Greens Leader Senator Larissa Waters, UNIC Director Christopher Woodthorpe and OzHarvest CEO and Founder Ronni Kahn will come together to launch the 2015 Think.Eat.Save campaign, bringing attention to the impact of global food waste and raising national debate on how food sustainability and food security can be addressed at a local level.

With countries around the world including UK and France recently legislating to reduce food waste by making it compulsory for supermarkets to donate surplus food to organisations and by changing food labelling laws, Australia too must take action.

OzHarvest is calling on the nation’s leaders to set a target to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2025 following the example set by EU nations such as France, Germany, Netherlands and Austria. Food waste is currently costing Australians up to 10 billion dollars each year.

At the launch event, a delicious lunch made from rescued surplus food will be prepared and served to our nation’s leaders by IHG Executive Chef at Parliament House Cris Purcell together with OzHarvest’s Chef for a Cause Travis Harvey showing that good surplus food need not be wasted.

Members of the public will also be encouraged to make a personal pledge to reduce food waste through a digital Think.Eat.Save campaign launching on the same day.


DATE & TIME: Thursday, 4 June from 12.00pm to 1.00pm

LOCATION: House of Representatives Alcove, Parliament House, Canberra Australia

Photo and interview opportunities at launch event, upon request:

  • Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP
  • Shadow Minister for the Environment, Climate Change & Water the Hon Mark Butler MP
  • Deputy Greens Leader, Senator Larissa Waters
  • UNIC Director, Christopher Woodthorpe
  • OzHarvest CEO and Founder Ronni Kahn
  • Parrys Raines, OzHarvest Youth Ambassador, Climate Girl
  • Emma Birdsall, Think.Eat.Save Ambassador
  • Will & Steve, Gourmet Pommies, Think.Eat.Save Ambassadors

To register media attendance, please RSVP to Claudia Hackworth at Liquid Ideas: [email protected] | +61 2 9667 4211 | +61 417 012 512 or

OzHarvest Communications Manager: Louise Tran [email protected] | +61 466 620 744


For more information on OzHarvest please visit

Follow us on Twitter @OzHarvest or Facebook or call 1800 108 006

Social media tags: #ozharvest #thinkeatsave @UNEP #SaveFood #UNFAO #FoodWaste @FAOKnowledge @FAOnews @save_food_news

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.
    For more information visit

[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

Media Alert – Monday, 1 June 2015