Food Waste

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:53): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister update the house on how the state government is fighting food waste in South Australia?

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:53): I certainly can, and I thank the member for Hammond for his question. I know that he does not like to waste any food ever.

The SPEAKER: Definitely not.

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: It is a very important question. He always leaves a clean plate. Last night, I officially launched the $133 million 10-year Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, which will be headquartered at the University of Adelaide's Waite Campus. More than 100 people were in attendance, ranging from key stakeholders who were instrumental in this coming to fruition, such as the CEO, Dr Steven Lapidge, and the independent chair, John Webster, to the businesses who are participating in this outstanding program.

The CRC is a game-changer in tackling the growing international problem of food waste. The successful bid for the 10-year research centre was led by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA, and funding was signed off by the state government under Premier Marshall. The Fight Food Waste CRC directly supports the federal government's National Food Waste Strategy, as well as its science and research priorities in food, advanced manufacturing and health. South Australia is already recognised as a leader in food and wine research, and the CRC will greatly enhance food waste research capabilities in the state, as well as our industry sustainability credentials.

It is estimated that by transforming waste into a resource and adopting circular economy principles, the Fight Food Waste CRC has the potential to create 25,000 jobs here in South Australia. The CRC involves approximately 60 industry participants and 10 research partners. Projects earmarked by the state government's primary industry researchers at SARDI, in collaboration with the CRC's participants, include developing innovative solutions, including cosmeceuticals from almond, grape and olive waste, functional food and—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: —functional food products from both mushroom waste and higher value products from the seafood industry. Food waste costs Australia $20 billion each year, and every year an average of $3,800 per household per annum. That is a cost per annum of $3,800 in your household and the household of every person in this chamber. An estimated 40 per cent of all food is wasted throughout the value chain—

Mr Brown interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Playford is warned.

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: —on farms, in transit and at retail by our consumers. Food waste here in South Australia is estimated to be at the same rate as the national average. The government is focused on supporting our food producers and the Fight Food Waste CRC is another string in our bow—hashtag #RegionsMatter.

The SPEAKER: I thought that was coming. The member for Reynell.

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