Food waste in Australia totals nearly $10 billion each year, Rabodirect report

Posted by Nicholas Nakos on 30th October 2017

Australians are collectively wasting $9.6 billion on food each year according to new research released by RaboDirect.

In a survey of 2,300 people aged between 16 and 65, the RaboDirect Food & Farming Report shows that Australians are wasting an average of 14 per cent of their weekly grocery buy. In total, this equates to over $1050 each year.

The report reveals the habits which are contributing to food waste in Australia, including never eating food past its ‘best before’ date and not eating leftovers.

Why is food being wasted?

The leading cause of food waste according to 82 per cent of respondents is a product going off and becoming unusable before they can use it.

43 per cent of people stated they buy too much food, making this the second leading cause of food waste in Australia.

RaboDirect’s report comes just weeks after Foodbank Australia revealed that 3.6 million Australians have experienced food insecurity in the past 12 months.

Oz Harvest is an Australian charity with operations in four major centres in Australia. It rescues food and gives it to those in need, with the goal of reducing food waste in Australia.

In the last year alone, Oz Harvest has seen an increase of over one million kilograms of food donations, with 700 more businesses donating food nationally, according to sustainability strategist Annika Stott.

Victorian’s are Australia’s worst food wasters

The results of the RaboDirect report show that food waste is still an issue in Australia, according to the Head of RaboDirect, Beden Cronin.

“Australians can make a few small changes to everyday habits, such as using leftovers for lunches through the week, which will help reduce food waste,” Cronin said.

With the rate of population growth and demand for food rapidly increasing, it is important that all Australians are aware of their individual impact on food wastage, according to the report.

The research concluded that those living in metropolitan Australian cities tended to have a higher proportion of food waste (16 per cent) compared to their regional counterparts (10 per cent).

The state of Victoria has the higher proportion of people who waste food, at 19 per cent, followed by New South Wales at 16 per cent.

Tasmania’s were the most conscious of their food waste, with research indicating that only four per cent of Tasmanian’s total grocery shop was wasted.

Generationally, Baby Boomers are the least wasteful (7 per cent), with Gen Y (20 per cent) the most wasteful.

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