DIRECT – Dynamic Industry Resource - Efficiency Calculation Tool

Food and waste policy

Governments and other organisations (e.g. FAO) worldwide have policies to reduce and recover waste

Australia has created a national policy:

The National Waste Policy heralds a coherent, efficient and environmentally responsible approach to waste management in Australia. The policy, agreed by all Australian environment ministers in November 2009, and endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments, sets Australia’s waste management and resource recovery direction to 2020.

More information can be found at Australian Government Website (Department of the Environment).

Food losses and food waste occur at each stage of the supply chain (consumption, distribution, processing, post-harvest, primary production) and concern all kind on food (fruits and vegetables, meat, roots, fish, dairy, cereals, etc.).


Waste facts for Australia over the period 2002-03 to 2006-07 include:


  • 31 % of waste generated (43.8 million tonnes)
  • double hazardous waste* generated (from 0.64 million tonnes to 1.19 million tonnes per annum)
  • 22.7 million tonnes of resource recovery


The policy sets directions in  six key areas  and identifies 16 priority strategies that would benefit from a national or coordinated approach: taking responsibility, improving the market, pursuing sustainability, reducing hazard and risk, tailoring solutions, and providing evidence. These strategies will provide focus to the work across individual jurisdictions, build on current directions and complement existing activity. They will also provide clarity and certainty for business and the community.

The policy will also complement other government action to deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions, reduce energy and water use, support jobs and invest in future long term economic growth. It will provide the basis for collaboration between the jurisdictions to deliver effective and efficient approaches to national waste issues and ensure that waste management remains aligned with Australia’s international obligations.

CFD Food

Image copyright: Y. Strengers

The policy contains  sixteen strategies  and the role of relevant jurisdictions, such as: better packaging management; national principles, specifications, best practice guidelines and standards to remove impediments to effective markets for potential wastes; access to knowledge and expertise in sustainable procurement and business practices; continued government focus to reduce the amount of biodegradable material sent to landfill; and improvements in waste avoidance and re-use of materials in the commercial and industrial waste stream.

*hazardous waste is defined by the Basel Convention

The Australian National Food Plan

The Australian Government’s National Food Plan is a roadmap that sets the direction for government policy on food into the future. It is one of the key pillars for achieving the goals of the Australia in the Asian Century white paper.

The National Food Plan was released by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, on 25 May 2013 at Rocklea Markets, Brisbane.

Complementary resources accessible here.

Other initiatives: Love Food Hate Waste

CFD Food

Image copyright: Y. Strengers

Love Food Hate Waste aims to raise UK awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help take action. It demonstrates that by doing easy, practical things at businesses and in the home that we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit economically, socially and environmentally.

Love Food Hate Waste is run by WRAP , a not-for-profit company established in 2000 that works in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. WRAP helps businesses and individuals reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way.

This program is accessible here. It is also currently run in NSW, with reports that it will be introduced in other Australian states.

Other program and resources available online are accessible below by clicking on the image:

  • WRAP: helping businesses to maximise resource efficiency
  • The Consumer Goods Forum: success stories, reports and other resources
  • United Nations Food and Agricultural Saved Food: resource, links and reports, such as the “global initiative on food loss and wast reduction report”
  • Global Protocol on Food Loss and Waste Management Protocol
  • The issue of food best before and use by date labelling: “The Dating Game” report, guidelines on Australian Food Grocery

Sustainability Victoria: Smarter Resources Smarter Business


Sustainability Victoria quick link to Smarter Resources Smarter Business









WRAP: helping to maximise resource efficiency


WRAP UK: Resource to help businesses maximise resource efficiency











The Consumer Goods Forum

The ConsumerGoodsForum

The Consumer Goods Forum website:


United Nations Food and Agricultural Saved Food


United Nations Food and Agricultural Saved Food, Website address:










Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction report

Download the Global initiative on Food Loss and Reduction report by clicking on the image.








Global Protocol on Food Loss and Waste Management Protocol


World Resource Institute, Global Protocol on Food Loss and Waste Management Protocol, Website address:


Learn more about food best before and use by date


The Dating Game report on food best before and use by date labels, report available online, website address:

Download the report by clicking on the image.











Australian Food and Grocery food date labelling guidelines, website address:

Guidelines about food date labelling accessible on the Australian Food Grocery website, click on the image.