For the third year, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation OzHarvest will be teaming up with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the UN’s Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (SAVE FOOD) to lead the Think.Eat.Save campaign in Australia and raise awareness on global food loss and waste reduction, launching today on the eve of World Environment Day at Parliament House, Canberra.
This year, the campaign will launch at the nation’s capital and culminate in the national Think.Eat.Save event taking place across seven Australian cities (capital and regional) on July 27. Thousands of members of the public across capital cities will be served a free hot meal including surplus soup and rescued stews made from produce that would have otherwise ended up as landfill.
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.
A delicious lunch made from rescued surplus food will be prepared and served to close to 100 Parliamentarians, Senators, Ministers and community leaders created by IHG chefs together with OzHarvest’s Chef for a Cause 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. Pledges can be made online at https://thinkeatsave.ozharvest.org or via social media by posting an image of an ‘X’ made from utensils or food items to represent stopping food waste and by using the hashtag #thinkeatsave.
July 27 will see Think.Eat.Save events across the country showcasing some of the nation’s top chefs, politicians and celebrity identities uniting to take a stance against food waste, which is currently costing Australians up to $10 billion each year. The public are invited to enjoy a free, delicious and hearty hot meal made from rescued produce, learn more about reducing waste and pledge their commitment to #thinkeatsave.
Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn, said the aim of Think.Eat.Save 2015 is to bring attention to the alarming amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) is wasted or lost along the way.
“We are all responsible and accountable for the food produced, consumed and wasted on this planet. This year’s Think.Eat.Save campaign will bring awareness to issues of global food sustainability and security and encourage all Australians to take meaningful action to minimise food waste at a local level,” Kahn said.
“Today at Parliament House we ask our nation’s leaders to set a target to reduce food waste by 50 per cent in Australia by 2025. In doing so, Australia will join forward-thinking nations who have chosen to take similar action. This year, we call on Australians to take the Think.Eat.Save pledge and be part of this movement.”
Naysan Sahba, Director of Communications of UNEP said, “Research shows that the world produces more food than is actually needed; food that is lost along the supply chain or wasted is due to poor consumption decisions. Cutting the rate of food loss and waste in half by 2050 would close 20 per cent of the food gap, according to studies by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and UNEP. We need to take immediate action to save food, improve livelihoods and conserve the environment. Solutions and opportunities exist. But we need to seize the moment and create the needed momentum.
“To bring about the vision of a truly sustainable world, we need to transform the way we produce and consume our food, which effectively means the way we consume our natural resources. This is what we at UNEP and our partners like OzHarvest are striving to influence with the Think.Eat.Save campaign and we thank OzHarvest for continuing to champion the campaign in Australia and beyond.”
 FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome. Food loss (FL): The decrease in quantity or quality of food. FL is mainly caused by the functioning of the food production and supply system or its institutional and legal framework. An important part of food loss is called food waste (FW) which refers to the removal from the supply chain of food which is fit for consumption by choice or has been left to spoil or expire as a result of negligence – predominantly but not exclusively the final consumer at household level. Source: FAO 2014