A study into how to turn food loss and industry waste into an economic opportunity is being undertaken in the Riverland, Murraylands and Murray Mallee.
The purpose of the Transforming Food Loss and Industry Waste for Profit survey is to identify, quantify and map food loss and industry waste in the region.
An AusIndustry survey in the Riverland showed more than 200,000 tonnes of under-valued by-product and waste are produced in the region.
The project is part of a broader program identifying opportunities for transforming waste resources and by-products into higher value products such as food ingredients, nutraceuticals and bioenergy.
The project is being managed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of PIRSA, and the Australian Wine Research Institute.
The project is funded under the Industry-led Research Sub-Program (IRSP), which is part of the Regional Economic Development element of the $265 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program (SARMS).
Project participants include Potatoes South Australia, Treasury Wine Estates, Accolade Wines, S. Smith & Son (Oxford Landing Estates), Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Citrus Australia - SA Region, Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd, and Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Inc.
For further information go to www.pir.sa.gov.au/food_loss_survey
Quotes attributable to project leader Dr Steve Lapidge
The State Government wants to ensure we are helping to create as many economic opportunities as possible. This means more jobs in our regions.
For a variety of reasons, including weather, disease and pests, about a quarter of horticultural produce - and up to 40 per cent of some crops such as potatoes - are lost on South Australian farms. Grape losses are also estimated at between 5-10 per cent.
Food loss and waste throughout the supply chain costs Australia over $20 billion annually.
This survey follows up on the work conducted by AusIndustry in 2014, where just over 30 processing companies in the Riverland region were surveyed on their undervalued waste resources and by-products.
The project aligns with the State Government’s Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world economic priority by aiming to further develop the circular food economy for the Riverland, Murraylands and Murray Mallee regions.