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Reducing food waste through innovation and collaboration

7 March 2018

Joint media release with Minister for the Environment and Energy the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP.

A project by Queensland-based Freeze Dry Industries to find new ways to reduce food waste in Australia will receive funding from Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre.

Freeze Dry Industries will trial low-energy, mobile freeze-drying units that preserve fresh fruit, vegetables and other raw materials that might otherwise have gone to waste.

The $2 million funding over two years comes from FIAL’s Project Fund, a competitive, dollar-for-dollar matched funding program that invests in projects that help increase the industry’s productivity and competiveness.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash said the project was a good example of industry-led innovation and collaboration which had the potential to benefit other companies in the food and agribusiness sector.

“Innovation is a key driver of growth, jobs, investment and business competitiveness, and we all stand to benefit from improvements brought by new ways of doing things in every industry,” Minister Cash said.

“This project was funded for many reasons including that it involves a range of partners, such as technical experts from the University of Queensland and industry specialists in energy and solar, as well as local and regional farmers, working together towards a common goal.”

Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg MP, said the project could play an important role in supporting the recently announced National Food Waste Strategy which provides a framework to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030.

“I am delighted that both FIAL and industry have been so fast off the blocks in finding forward thinking solutions to address Australia’s national food waste issue.

“This innovative approach will maximise the value of our fresh fruit and vegetables by extending their shelf life, reducing weight and cost during transportation whilst preserving the product’s nutritional value. It is a great example of good ideas that other Australian companies can benefit from,” said Minister Frydenberg.

The mobile unit, including the in-field testing, is expected to be complete by June 2019.

Further information about the Industry Growth Centres Initiative is available at www.industry.gov.au/growthcentres

Media contacts:
Minister Cash's office 02 6277 7320
Minister Frydenberg's office 02 6277 7920