Transform program fights food waste
A new program steered by the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) aims to transform food waste into innovative high-value products. Led by University of Queensland researcher and chemical engineer Dr Paul Luckman, the Transform program strives to create 5200 jobs in rural areas and save $600 million in waste produce and waste-handling costs.
Dr Luckman highlighted that 42% of the food produced in Australia went to waste, at a cost of $20 billion a year. “The Transform program aims to identify and prioritise valuable products from waste streams and find the technology gaps and process limitations in transforming that waste,” he explained.
“We’re already looking at a wide range of projects, from turning food waste into supplements to fuelling sustainable wastewater treatment with food waste. We’re hoping to save 87 gigalitres of water through recovery and re-use, reduce 30 million tonnes in food waste and save at least 44 million tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted over 10 years.”
Funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s CRC Program until 2028, the Transform program is part of a suite of initiatives driven by the Fight Food Waste CRC, with other programs looking to reduce supply chain losses, engage with community and industry to educate and train workers and spark behavioural change.
Fight Food Waste CRC Chief Executive Officer Dr Steve Lapidge said the centre would improve the Australian food industry’s competitiveness, productivity and sustainability. “We have 46 industry partners and 10 research partners from across the country, with a total of $121 million being invested over 10 years.
“We are working to deliver new sources of revenue and market growth for food companies, with less waste ending up in landfill and more food donated to feed hungry Australians,” Dr Lapidge said.
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