• David Rogers, international director at WRAP.
    David Rogers, international director at WRAP.

Tackling the huge environmental cost of food waste has just been given a boost, with international climate action NGO WRAP recently receiving $15 million additional funding from the Ballmer Group.

The funding will support essential work by WRAP and its partners in tackling food loos and waste through existing voluntary agreements in Australia, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. It will also create a new food waste voluntary agreement in Brazil.

The funding covers ongoing work with money allocated to each nation to increase the systemic ‘target-measure-act’ approach to reduce food waste across supply chains and in the home, which WRAP says globally are responsible for around 10 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

“This funding is an absolute game-changer and the largest philanthropic donation WRAP has received for our work around the world. It marks a transformational moment, bringing substantial, multi-year funding to scale up the impact of food waste voluntary agreements around the world.” said David Rogers, international director at WRAP.

“We know the model works, having proven it first in the UK before working with our excellent partners to support them in adapting it to local contexts and challenges. We are incredibly grateful to the Ballmer Group for the funding at this critical time, with just six years left to halve food waste by 2030.”

The public-private partnership model or voluntary agreement utilises a target-measure-act approach to coordinate and drive action by key partners along the global supply chains that produce our food.

They can deliver significant and lasting reductions in food waste with the model proving particularly successful in the UK, where the Courtauld 2030 voluntary commitment has seen retailers and manufacturers cut their business food waste by nearly 30 per cent.

WRAP has helped to establish and support six food pacts, building from the blueprint of the Courtauld 2030 model. The climate action NGO is working with the partners delivering the agreements in each nation as they adapt the approach to suit their unique situations.

Together, this international network provides a coordinated group of actors aligned to a shared ambition, mirroring the approach WRAP instigated to tackle plastic pollution through a series of national Plastic Pacts.

The announcement of the grant follows the recent publication of the Philanthropic Roadmap (Reducing Food Loss and Waste – A Roadmap for Philanthropy).

“We have the partnerships, the framework and the expertise to make inroads into global food waste, but what’s been missing has been serious investment at the global level,” Rogers said.

“That’s why support by the Ballmer Group, and the creation of a dedicated Philanthropic Roadmap, are such important developments.

“Both can help fix our failing food system and help tackle climate change, and both show that investment – whether philanthropic or governmental – are crucial to help repair our failing food system.”

Involving 50 expert organisations and led by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), WRAP, ReFED and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

With funding from the Bezos Earth Fund, the Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation, the IKEA Foundation and the Robertson Foundation, the Philanthropic Roadmap gives a blueprint identifying $300 million in ready-to-fund philanthropic investment that can deliver major improvements for the climate, economy and society by cutting food waste.

National coordination through voluntary agreements is viewed as a major route to driving change.

Food & Drink Business

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The 2024 National Food Waste Summit is underway, with more than 300 delegates hearing international and local leaders in the field provide updates on projects underway, overseas models and mindsets, and the challenges and triumphs of Australia’s commitment to halving food waste by 2030.

Auckland-based Scentian Bio has been awarded $10,000 in a food value chain pitch competition at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual expo in Chicago.