12 March 2020
NZ Food Waste Champions 12.3
Who are the New Zealand Food Waste Champions 12.3?
The New Zealand Food Waste Champions 12.3 is a coalition of Champions from New Zealand’s food supply chain who are committed to halving food waste by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3).
There are currently 12 Champions from organisations such as Countdown, Foodstuffs, KiwiHarvest, WasteMINZ and Sustainable Business Network. These individuals will be accelerating progress and mobilising action toward reducing food waste across New Zealand’s food supply chain. They will have a leading voice in advocacy, strategy and education on food waste issues.
Why should you care about food waste?
A third of the food we produce globally is lost or wasted. Reducing food waste is a step we can all take to combat climate change, save money and feed people.
- Reducing food waste was ranked recently as the third best global solution in combatting climate change (Project Drawdown).
- Food businesses can face a 14-fold return on investment if they introduce food waste reduction measures (Global Champions 12.3).
- Redistributing food through food rescue charities will significantly assist many of the one in nine people who face food insecurity globally (Food and Agricultural Organisation, United Nations).
Why is halving food waste by 2030 so important?
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Under Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) there is a specific Target 12.3 to halve food waste.
- Half of the countries around the globe have committed to Target 12.3.
- Two thirds of the world’s largest food businesses have committed to Target 12.3.
- Up until now, New Zealand’s Government and businesses have not shown commitment towards this target.
The Champions will be leading momentum towards government, businesses, research institutions and individuals collectively achieving the goal of halving food waste by 2030. This will transform into triple wins: environmentally, economically and socially.
Who is co-ordinating the Champions?
Tessa Vincent is the Co-ordinator for Champions 12.3. She has a law and policy background and is a Trustee of Kaibosh Food Rescue. Inspired by the global group of “Champions 12.3”, Tessa researched whether we needed a similar coalition in New Zealand. She found there were a number of international organisations dedicated to tackling food waste, but there was a gap in New Zealand.
Tessa is particularly passionate about the environmental consequences of wasted food. She believes food is a resource that should be utilised as part of a sustainable food system.
What is the vision?
The Champions are having their first Roundtable on the 12th March (12.3) followed by a Launch in Wellington. Over time, it is hoped that many more individuals will commit to being Champions within their organisations.
Tessa believes that a number of food businesses would benefit from discussing how to reach Target 12.3 and incorporating this into sustainability plans. Tessa also hopes the New Zealand Government eventually commits to Target 12.3, like Australia and the United States.
After committing to the Target, the next steps are “Measurement” and “Action”. Tessa hopes their Champions 12.3 website can raise the profile of food waste issues and eventually lead to a platform for data collection on food waste reduction and progress each year until 2030.
How can I or my organisation get involved?
After launching the initial group of 12 Champions, the network will likely expand to include:
- More Champions of 12.3: we are open to increasing the number of Champions over time, so long as individuals commit to the Champions’ pledge.
- Friends of 12.3: organisations who are committed to the Target and support the work of the Champions.
- Citizens of 12.3: New Zealanders who want to get involved with food waste action, through communication, conscious consumption and composting.