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  • Writer's pictureNZ Food Waste Champions

NZ Food Waste Champions: mid-year update

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

New Zealand Food Waste Champions 12.3 is a coalition of representatives from across the food supply chain, committed to New Zealand halving food waste by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 (SDG 12.3). Collaboration is at the heart of our organisation. We will not achieve SDG 12.3 without working together, in all food sectors, to address food waste. The main drivers for this initiative are threefold: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental harm; benefiting the economy; and addressing food insecurity.

New Zealand Food Waste Champions 12.3 was officially launched on 12.3.2020. Our short-term strategic plan has three components. First, showcasing successful initiatives to tackle food waste, by mapping out what is occurring across New Zealand’s food supply chain. Second, advocating to Government to adopt SDG 12.3 in their national policy. Third, taking action by exploring a voluntary agreement among food businesses to start measuring and reporting on their food waste and introducing mechanisms to reduce it annually.

Our coalition of food waste champions are raising the profile of food waste reduction in New Zealand. Reducing food waste is the third best action we can take to mitigate climate change, according to Project Drawdown, and it is time that New Zealand - who relies heavily on our food and agricultural industries - started taking it seriously. Our initiative holds the interest of government, with Minister Sage speaking at our launch. We believe we are catalysing key industry players, the government and the community towards achieving SDG 12.3 in New Zealand, as we all journey towards a more sustainable future.

Few initiatives really have this emphasis on collaboration. Our existence relies on the buy-in of our 12 Champions and their passion for reducing food waste, and seeing the bigger picture. We are particularly grateful for the financial support of Countdown, who have come on board as one of our founding partners - alongside the Tindall Foundation.

Currently, the average New Zealand family throws out three shopping trolleys of food each year. This amount of food equates to feeding Dunedin for over two years. Halving food waste in New Zealand by 2030 is no easy feat, but it will help the environment, the economy and our people. We are hoping a number of businesses, the government and everyday Kiwis will join us in our mission.

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