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Fight Food Waste CRC welcomes SA government funding

Adelaide will continue to grow as the nation’s hub of food waste research, development and engagement thanks to a new three-year Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) funding boost from the South Australian government.  

The $300,000 of funding comes from the South Australia CRC Assistance Program through the SA government’s Research and Innovation Fund. It has been awarded to Primary Industries and Regions South Australia to participate in the Fight Food Waste CRC to support the SA Growth State Plan for Food, Wine and Agribusiness to ensure the productivity and sustainability of its food and wine businesses. 

According to South Australian minister for Innovation and Skills, David Pisoni, the funding reinforces that SA is the engine room for the nation’s food waste reduction activities. 

Already hosting the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus since 2018, Adelaide is also now home to Stop Food Waste Australia, the new national peak body charged with delivering the National Food Waste Strategy. It is also the now the headquarters for the United Kingdom’s Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) Asia-Pacific region. 

“Food waste is something we can all play our part to address and here in South Australia we are leading the way,” Pisoni said. “The Marshall government is pleased to support the Fight Food Waste CRC, now the largest dedicated food waste R & D organisation in the world. 

“Global leader in the fight against food waste, WRAP, who have helped reduce business and household food waste in the UK by 27 per cent over the last decade, have now established their Asia-Pacific headquarters here in Adelaide.” 

According to Pisoni, this funding strongly aligns with their 10-year Excellence, Collaboration, Innovation, Translation, Enabled (EXCITE) future workforce Strategy. 

“The EXCITE Strategy sees business, education and government across the science, technology and innovation sectors working together on the challenges of the future while also boosting South Australia’s productivity,” he said. 

Fight Food Waste CRC chief executive officer, Dr Steven Lapidge, said the National Food Waste Strategy commits Australia to halve food waste by 2030 in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. 

With 7.6 million tonnes of food loss and waste being generated in Australia each year, enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground over 10 times, this is an audacious goal. 

“This funding further helps us towards meeting our national targets for food waste reduction, which are challenging, but achievable, if we continue our work with our industry, government and research partners while also addressing food waste in the home,” Lapidge said. 

“I thank the South Australian government and the Department for Innovation and Skills for their ongoing commitment towards the Fight Food Waste CRC through to the end of the 2023-24 financial year. I also thank the South Australian chief scientist, Professor Caroline McMillen, for her support as she continues to lead this State’s scientific community in collaborating with industry while driving innovation.” 

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