AUSTRALIA: A ground-breaking meeting in Queensland has sparked the formation of Australia’s first group targeted at the cold chain.
The Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC) brings together leaders in manufacturing, food transport, refrigeration and cold chain services with a desire to improve compliance and standards in the handling of food at all levels of the cold chain.
Food waste is a massive problem for Australia. On average, Australians are said to waste 860kg of food per person annually, with food wastage accounting for 5% or more of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
This new Council sees itself as an important part of the solution, encouraging innovation, compliance, waste reduction and safety across the Australian food cold chain.
Interim chair Mark Mitchell, MD of SuperCool Australia Pacific Pty, a leading cold chain service provider, said: “The new Council is not about promoting an industry – we want to change the industry for the better. One of our priorities will be to apply whatever pressure is needed in industry and in government to make sure the existing Australian standards for cold chain food handling are properly followed.
“There’s lots of rhetoric in government programmes, associations and among food handlers and suppliers about commitments to food waste reduction and cold chain compliance, but little, if nothing, is being done at any level about improving the cold chain, and ensuring that standards are followed,” he added.
The AFCCC believes that Australian industry has the tools, technologies and workforce that can reduce food waste by improving the cold food chain.
The new advocacy group’s first priorities will be contributing to both the development of the National Food Waste Strategy and becoming part of Australia’s Fight Food Waste and Fraud Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) which aims to tackle the growing international problem of food waste and fraud by developing the circular food economy in Australia.