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July 2, 2022

Fighting food waste

Latest News

Supply chain pain? Try localisation!

A community screening of Local Futures’ new film, 'Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution', will be held today, Friday, July 1, at The Farm in Byron Bay from 6pm. Damon Gameau and Pacha Light will be joining Helena Norberg-Hodge for a discussion afterwards.

Other News

It’s plastic free July!

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 29 June, 2022

The Nimbin Art Fair is on again after many postponements owing to covid and the floods. Hosted by Nimbin Artists Gallery, a not-for-profit organisation supporting local creatives, the Fair allows you to see the whole gamut of creative art from the vibrant arts community that is Nimbin and its surrounds.

Rebuild of flooded school campus in North Lismore unlikely

At least one Northern Rivers-based school is likely to have a new permanent home thanks to extensive flood damage at its existing campus.

Main Arm Upper school are excited to be going ‘back to school’

It has been hard for many young people as they have managed the impacts of COVID over the last few years but for students at Main Arm Upper Public School the flood has meant they've been out of their school for almost half a year.

Mullum could lose valuable CBD car park

It’s fair to say residents of Mullumbimby have seen a steady increase in the number of vehicles visiting the...

Dry July to help you and Our House

In July 2008, three mates, Brett, Kenny and Phil, wanted to take a break from alcohol, so decided to abstain for the month of July, coining it their 'Dry July'.

Tristan Grier from Harvest takes care to minimise food waste.

Did you know that wasting food is a greater contributor (6 per cent) to total greenhouse gas emissions than flying (1.9 per cent), plastic production (3.8 per cent) and crude oil extraction (3.8 per cent)? 

About a quarter (26 per cent) of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food, which isn’t hard to understand because food is everywhere, and it’s a basic human need. But about a quarter of the calories produced are never eaten – that means that food wastage, whether that happens in transit, at the restaurant or at home, accounts for around 6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.** 

There is an economic loss to this as well – food waste is estimated to cost the Australian economy approximately $20 billion each year, occurring across the food chain, from agriculture, post-harvest to processing, distribution and food services. ***

The Northern Rivers food industry is stepping up to fight the war on food waste. 

As part of the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste program, North East Waste and member councils are working with Northern Rivers food manufacturers and other food service providers to learn about their existing practices and assess the extent of food loss at each stage of their production – from harvesting and product grading through to processing and packaging, also considering inventory, infrastructure and transportation issues.

The Northern Rivers has a well-deserved reputation as a clean, green food bowl, underpinned by a highly collaborative food community focused on environmental sustainability. Reflecting this character, North East Waste has uncovered many examples where local producers and food manufacturers work together to minimise their food waste, particularly by diverting it to other food producers as animal food, compost and fertiliser.

Many of our local food manufacturers already have as ‘business as usual’ strategies to minimise their food waste: carefully considering their product inputs, ordering strategically and rotating stock, auditing their processing systems to identify where food may be lost during preparation, monitoring their storage and refrigeration to reduce spoilage, and keeping an eye out for innovative packaging solutions.

With the North East Waste project running over the past two years – while the region has been recovering from bushfires, dealing with the impact of the covid pandemic, and most recently managing the catastrophic impact of floods – it’s been particularly remarkable to see how effectively food manufacturers across the Northern Rivers have adapted these strategies to minimise their food waste. 

We’ve identified businesses proactively addressing fluctuations in product demand – developing new product lines, adjusting their processing schedules and seeking out alterative distribution channels. Rather than send food to landfill, they’ve supported the broader community by donating ingredients and excess product to local food recovery organisations like Liberation Larder.

Recognising the critical impact food manufacturers can have in food waste reduction, as well as the environmental and financial benefits on offer for food manufacturers themselves, North East Waste has been identifying and promoting effective strategies and solutions. 

Another component of this project has been working more broadly with food service providers, including pubs, clubs and restaurants to identify simple ways to reduce food loss at the end of the day – whether through smaller portion sizes, offering a ‘doggy bag’, and similar principles to the manufacturing project through stock control. To learn more about the project or to sign up to be involved see: https://newaste.org.au/ybif/ 

*Source: WRI: World GHG Emissions 2016 & https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0459-z 

** Searchinger, T. et al. (2018). Creating a Sustainable Food Future—A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050. World Resources Institute.]


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Dry July to help you and Our House

In July 2008, three mates, Brett, Kenny and Phil, wanted to take a break from alcohol, so decided to abstain for the month of July, coining it their 'Dry July'.

Very wet and very dry: unprecedented droughts and hyper-damaging floods in the future

The world will be pushed to more weather extremes in coming decades, according to two studies which carry stark warnings of floods and droughts, respectively.

Australian-first Surf Series and workshops ends in Lennox Head on Sunday

It might be cold outside but that's not stopping women who love to surf and over 100 women and girls will participate in the first female event series in Australia on Sunday at Lennox Head.

It’s plastic free July!

Did you know that plastic packaging and single-use plastic items make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW?