OzHarvest and the United Nations call on Australians to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2025

Posted by sarahpinchbeck on Jul 21, 2016

National 2016 Think.Eat.Save event

For the fourth 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 2016 Think.Eat.Save campaign in Australia and raise awareness of global food loss and waste reduction.

Think.Eat.Save events will take place between Sunday 24th and Tuesday 26th July, 2016 across 11 Australian cities (capital and regional). Thousands of members of the public 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 2015 the event saw 11,000 people around the country served 13,400 meals made from rescued food served by over 400 volunteers.

The 2016 Think.Eat.Save campaign will bring attention to the impact of global food waste and encourage a national debate on how food sustainability and food security can be addressed from a community to a country level.

24 – 26 July will see Think.Eat.Save 2016 events across the country showcasing some of the nation’s top chefs, politicians and celebrities 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.


Regional Areas:

  • Sapphire Coast (24 July): Twyford Hall, Cnr Market & Beach Sts, Merimbula – 11.30am-2.00pm – RSVP here
  • Armidale (25 July): Meals on Wheels Pavilion, Armidale Showground – 6.30pm-9.00pm – RSVP here.
  • Cairns (26 July): The German Club, 57 Winkworth Street, Bungalow – 6.00pm-9.00pm – RSVP here

National City LOCATIONS – DATE & TIME: Monday, 25 July 2016

Follow us on Twitter @OzHarvest or Facebook.

Social media tags: #ozharvest #thinkeatsave

@UNEP #SaveFood #UNFAO #FoodWaste @FAOKnowledge @FAOnews @save_food_news

For more media information, images or interviews with Ronni Kahn, Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, please contact:

Louise Tran at OzHarvest on [email protected] | +61 2 9516 3877 | +61 466 620 744

 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.[2]
  • 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. [3]
  • Australia produces enough food to feed approx. 60 million people, yet two million people still rely on food relief every year.[4]
  • 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. [5]

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.[6]
  • 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). [7]
  • 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. [8]
  • 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.

For more information visit

About FAO

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO’s three main goals are: eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Visit: 


About SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction In May 2011 FAO launched the Global Initiative on food loss and waste reduction (also called SAVE FOOD Initiative) as a corporate effort together with the private sector trade fair organizer Messe Düsseldorf GmbH (Germany). SAVE FOOD works in partnership with donors, bi- and multi-lateral agencies, financial institutions, public, private sector and civil society for: (i) Awareness raising; (ii) Collaboration and coordination of world-wide initiatives; (iii) Evidence-based policy, strategy and programme development, including a methodology for assessing food loss; (iv) Technical support to investment programmes and projects. UNEP joined SAVE FOOD by launching the Think.Eat.Save Campaign in January 2013. Visit:


In August 2013 the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific launched the SAVE FOOD Asia-Pacific Campaign in Bangkok, Thailand. Strategic action areas identified through consultations: awareness raising, the relevant role of the private sector and support mechanisms by governments in order to facilitate smallholder effective organization along with the role played by consumers. Visit:


About the FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme

The FAO/UNEP sustainable food systems program is catalysing partnerships among United Nations agencies, governments, private sector and civil society to promote activities that improve the sustainability of food consumption and production. Visit: 


In June 2012 on the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the U.N. Secretary General launched the Zero Hunger Challenge[9] which includes addressing sustainability of all food systems and the aim of zero food loss and waste. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS)[10], the foremost intergovernmental body for food security and nutrition, at its thirty-ninth Session (October 2012), requested its High Level Panel of Experts on food security and nutrition (HLPE)[11] to prepare a report on Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems to inform the discussions in Plenary in October 2014. In May 2014 HLPE released the summary and recommendations of its report[12].

[1] 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

[2] Foodwise,

[3] Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study 2009

[4] DAFF, National Food Plan 2012

[5] End Hunger Report, Foodbank, 2012

[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

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

[9] Visit: Zero Hunger Challenge

[10] Visit: Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

[11] Visit: High Level Panel of Experts on food security and nutrition (HLPE)

[12] Visit: