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National Food Donation Tax incentive tabled

WA Senator Dean Smith has introduced an incentive that aims to amend the tax system to offer deductions for businesses donating food and essential services, such as refrigeration and transportation, to food rescue organisations.

The National Food Donation Tax Incentive was tabled as a private Senator’s Bill in federal parliament and, if passed, has the potential to revolutionise Australia’s approach to food donation.

The bill, a result of extensive collaboration and research from the End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, KPMG, food rescue organisations Foodbank Australia and OzHarvest, as well as the Queensland and New South Wales state governments, has the potential to provide millions of additional meals each year to those in need.

This initiative is a significant step towards achieving Australia’s goal of halving food waste by 2030.

CEO of End Food Waste Australia, Dr Steven Lapidge, said the bill is critical to combat Australian food waste and hunger.

“With more than 7.6 million tonnes of food wasted annually in Australia – 70 per cent of which is edible – this initiative is not just timely but essential,” said Lapidge.

“One in six Australian adults and 1.2 million children have gone hungry in the past year.

“This tax incentive will encourage businesses to donate surplus food and essential services, dramatically increasing the support for food rescue organisations and ensuring that surplus food reaches those who need it most.”

Lapidge said the End Food Waste Cooperative Research is proud to have supportive partners that include KPMG, Foodbank Australia, OzHarvest and the Queensland and New South Wales state governments.

“The End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre is proud to have worked alongside our partners at… to bring this visionary project to fruition that led to the bill. This collaborative effort underscores the importance of unified action in tackling food waste and hunger,” said Lapidge.

The proposed tax incentive not only addresses food insecurity but also aligns with environmental sustainability goals by reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills.

Businesses will benefit from tax deductions, creating a win-win situation for both the economy and society.

Dr Steven Lapidge will be joining other leading international and national experts at the 2024 National Food Waste Summit in Melbourne later this month on 24 and 25 July.

Attended by representatives from across industry, research, and government, the summit explores the collaborative planning, strategy, and action required to meet Australia’s food waste reduction goal.

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