FOGO, Food Waste, Legislation, Opinion

Tax incentive introduced for food waste

WA Senator Dean Smith has tabled a private Senators Bill in federal parliament that is designed change Australia’s approach to food donation. The National Food Donation Tax Incentive aims to amend the tax system to offer deductions for businesses donating food and essential services, such as refrigeration and transportation, to food rescue organisations.

The bill, a result of collaboration and research from the End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, KPMG, food rescue organisations Foodbank Australia and OzHarvest, as well as the Queensland and New South Wales state governments, has the potential to provide millions of additional meals each year to those in need. This initiative is a step toward achieving Australia’s goal of halving food waste by 2030.
“This bill is a critical milestone in our mission to combat food waste and hunger in Australia,” said Dr Steven Lapidge, CEO of End Food Waste Australia. “With more than 7.6 million tonnes of food wasted annually in Australia – 70 per cent of which is edible—this initiative is not just timely but essential. One in six Australian adults and 1.2 million children have gone hungry in the past year. This tax incentive will encourage businesses to donate surplus food and essential services, dramatically increasing the support for food rescue organisations and ensuring that surplus food reaches those who need it most.
“The End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre is proud to have worked alongside our partners at KPMG, Foodbank Australia and OzHarvest, as well as the Queensland and New South Wales state governments, to bring this visionary project to fruition that led to the bill. This collaborative effort underscores the importance of unified action in tackling food waste and hunger.”
The proposed tax incentive not only addresses food insecurity but also aligns with environmental sustainability goals by reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills. Businesses will benefit from tax deductions, creating a win-win situation for both the economy and society.
Lapidge will be joining other international and national experts at the 2024 National Food Waste Summit in Melbourne later this month on 2July 24/25. Attended by representatives from across industry, research, and government, the summit explores the collaborative planning, strategy and action required to meet this country’s challenging – but achievable – food waste reduction goals.
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