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Food Waste Workshop Outcomes 1, Sustainable Cities Round Tables, 24 September 2008

Posted in Sustainable Cities Round Tables by Ferne Edwards on October 27th, 2008

A Food Waste Workshop was held at the Sustainable Cities Round Table – Waste Not Want Not, 24 September 2008. Three key organisations redistribute food that is still edible to people in need: SecondBite, FareShare (previously One Umbrella) and VicRelief Foodbank. Participants at the Sustainable Cities Round Table received a five minute explanation of the key issues of the growing food waste issue that links to poverty, hunger and urban environmental issues, and then worked together in small teams to answer the following four questions.

1. Can you think of ways to help better manage these issues of food waste redistribution
2. Can you think of opportunities that could occur across the city system? ie. in terms of transport, water, urban planning, etc
3. Can you think of ways to reduce the amount of food that is generated further up the chain
4. Can you think of new opportunities or businesses that could emerge from the topics mentioned above?

The responses from the first question are listed below.

Key issues:
1. Awareness – that food rescue agencies exist and have the capacity to collect surplus food, so we can start making a dint on the amount of good quality nutritious food that goes to waste.
2. Funding – the cost to run our organisation is increasing, and will continue to do so. This is of vital importance as we begin to tackle to problem on a much larger scale. Collaboration, information sharing and pooling of resources will be key in addressing this.
3. Logistics – Not so much a problem but an area that will need a lot of focus (money!) and collaboration as we implement statewide strategies, incorporating multiple agencies and both internal and external logistics companies.

1. Can you think of ways to help better manage these issues of food waste redistribution?
Bring the people to the food
Community kitchens for both rich and poor, ie. all sections of societies
Target big users, ie. colleges

Farms, ie. over contract amounts
Households bins
Portions control, ie. right size plots
Make redistribution centres/hubs close to restaurants, shops and users
Rating food for restaurants and shops
Change in food regulations to create a business ie. restaurants
Restaurants need to take into consideration transport etc.
Council organised compostable waste collection reduce the size of collection bins
Food distribution/pick-up points in each suburb (where possible). Advertise whats available on the internet and on touch screens accessible to people in public places
Toll free number for people to find out whats available to pick up
Soup kitchens can pick up food directly
Information what waste is available
Awareness raising in the hospitality industry
More community organisations which provide food and those who need food
Increase shelf-life
More frequent shopping
Managing and communicating production/consumption
Use web technology as information enabler
More efficient channels, ie. vehicles to collect food waste while still fresh
More publicity at food shops
More awareness
Hubs within each district collection channels
Match supermarket to groups who ca distribute to needy
Better promote availability of supermarket food shops to interested parties
Better create infrastructure to support above
Educate people to shops carefully – including ‘pre-cycling, ie. making careful choices regarding packaging
More education, ie. schools
Corporate responsibility – advertise this on TV
Government initiatives
Slow food philosophy
Government supplies free compost bins
Communication between sources of waste food and food distributors – such as a website
Communicate availability of redistributed food
Greater number of distribution centres
Guideline s/regulations for reclaiming waste food
People to/for food rather than food to/for people
Community cooking/storage centres
Community markets – fresh food
Buy only what you need
Convenience foods contribute to energy consumption
Decentralise shopping – move to more local shopping and market
Introduce food bins in all restaurants
Communal collection point for food scraps for restaurants
Supermarkets should leave bins open for people to collect and ban “crushing” waste
Community compost
Use existing infrastructure to collect food waste for people living with disabilities or with restricted mobility
Educate people on hygienic disposal
Standard signage systems for food waste bins and re-use hub food, etc.
Adopt techniques for public health awareness
Investigate health regulation issues
Clarify health regulations
Develop procedures to produce food, ie. drying
Education resources, empty space, VRFB org – Safeway – back to depot

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