One of New Zealand’s largest bakery producers has joined a voluntary agreement to reduce food waste.
George Weston Foods New Zealand (GWF), who makes baked goods sold under the Tip Top Bakery, Bürgen, Ploughman’s Bakery, Big Ben, Golden and Dad’s Pies brands, has joined Kai Commitment, an initiative helping leading food sector businesses to reduce food waste and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
It comes at a time when global leaders are meeting at COP28 to advance urgent talks on how the world can better collaborate to reduce emissions and slow warming of the planet.
GWF joins some of New Zealand’s largest food businesses who are already signed up to the programme including Fonterra, Foodstuffs, Countdown, Silver Fern Farms, Nestle and fellow bread producer Goodman Fielder.
Mark Bosomworth, GM of GWF said the programme aligns with the company’s commitment to not only feed the community sustainability and responsibly , but also to inspire and educate consumers on reducing food waste.
“Kai Commitment is an opportunity for us to draw on international best practice, as well as collaborate with other leading food producers in New Zealand to work on shared solutions to reducing food waste across the value chain”.
Mr Bosomworth noted that a particular focus of GWF’s work with Kai Commitment was looking at strategies to optimise supply.
“With bread being a short shelf-life product, there is a fine line to producing enough each day so that consumers can always get a loaf, but not producing so much that it doesn’t get eaten and goes to animal feed. Getting this balance right means that we not only waste less, but importantly conserve the resources used to create the product including raw ingredients as well as things like power, packaging and water”.
Recent research revealed that on average each Kiwi household wastes more than $1500 worth of food per year, at a cost of $3.2 billion per year. Bread is the top item wasted with more than 20 million loaves per year going to waste.
Kaitlin Dawson, Executive Director of the New Zealand Food Waste Champions Charitable Trust who runs Kai Commitment, welcomed GWF joining the programme and said tackling food waste makes economic, environmental and social sense.
“We know that globally 30 to 40 percent of food that is produced is wasted at a cost of trillions of dollars and food waste contributes approximately 4 percent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and 10 percent globally. We also know that up to 20 percent of children households experience moderate to severe food insecurity, so tackling food waste has got to be a continued priority in New Zealand. “
“Having another one of Australasia’s largest food producers join Kai Commitment demonstrates the value of this programme and the willingness of the sector to work collaboratively to shic the dial on causes and solutions to food waste,” she said.