AIFST WA COI Food Waste Event 

Words by Samantha Fewster 
Did you know that one of the United Nations sustainable development goals is to reduce food wastage? The AIFST recognises that our industry is in a prime position to make a positive impact towards this and as a result is a partner of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre. There are also many people passionate about reducing food waste in our industry and the WA community recently had the opportunity to hear from two local experts.
Andrew Wilkinson, from Foodbank WA, shared confronting statistics about food insecurity here in Australia. So many of our fellow community members do not know where their next meal is coming from. We heard about a generous donation from West Pork and their supply chain including a butcher, small goods manufacturer and transport company, which helped provide a much-needed supply of protein to Foodbank. It was a reminder that we can all play a small part in the big picture to make a real impact. What is seen as waste to one business may be able to be used by Foodbank to provide meals to members of our community experiencing food insecurity or to local disadvantaged schools.
Dr Janet Howieson, from Curtin University, shared her experience working with the seafood industry to turn a waste product into a commercial product. She detailed the steps taken in her research, with the main take away point being that the waste product has to create an innovative new product that consumers would like to purchase at a price point they will be happy to pay. Consumers will not buy a product just because it reduces waste, they must see value in it for the product line to be sustainable.
Members and guests supported Foodbank by attending that evening, with $7.50 from each ticket donated to provide the equivalent of 15 meals.
As we looked out over Elizabeth Quay we learnt WA Community of Interest Chairman, Adel Yousif, would be stepping down from the committee and relocating for work. The committee and guests in attendance thanked him for his dedication to the WA Community of Interest.