NEW research from Sustainability Victoria has revealed that a significant volume of food is being wasted in the state’s hospitality sector, while also highlighting an appetite from local food service businesses to minimise wastage across the industry.
To help businesses reduce costs and overcome common barriers to minimising waste, Sustainability Victoria has announced the launch of the “Love Food Hate Waste Business” pilot program, a free Victorian Government program designed to provide practical support to food service businesses to reduce food wastage.
In an audit of 195 Victorian hospitality businesses, venues produced an average of 5.6 tonnes of food waste every year. Of this 5.6 tonnes, approximately 54 per cent of the food waste could have been prevented, amounting to three tonnes per business per year.
A separate study, commissioned by Sustainability Victoria, found the state’s hospitality community are conscious of the scale of the problem, with more than four in five of businesses surveyed considering food waste to be a significant issue in the Victorian hospitality industry.
Financial and environmental factors were most frequently cited as motivators for change, with 50 per cent of respondents identifying reduced operation costs, and almost half identifying reduced environmental impacts, as key considerations encouraging action.
As part of the $500,000 program, businesses will receive simple tools and guidance to identify new ways to prevent food waste.
The program aims to help venues understand where food waste is happening, and offers practical resources, such as food waste tracking tools, action plans and online support, to help businesses cut food waste.
Brae chef Dan Hunter has joined forces with Sustainability Victoria to raise awareness for the campaign, and is encouraging fellow hospitality businesses to sign up.
“Food waste is one of the most pressing concerns our industry faces – whether from plate waste or in the kitchen,” he said.
“We’ve worked for many years at Brae to fine tune our sustainability practices, but this program delivers easily implementable tools to help all venues find new ways to reduce waste and make a positive change.”
For more information, head to lovefoodhatewaste.vic.gov.au/business.