CaféLab Sector Action Plan Chapter: Co-designing industry relevant approaches to reducing food waste in small to medium sized cafés
Australia is world renowned for its vibrant café culture. Yet the hospitality industry faces profound economic and environmental challenges. Currently, the Australian food service industry produces high levels of food and packaging waste and CO2 emissions with major associated economic and environmental costs. As we move into a period of post-COVID recovery, the sector has a major opportunity to transform its business practices from a highly wasteful and costly linear model to a more circular, resource efficient and sustainable approach. Given our hospitality sector’s global prominence, the industry also has a unique chance to showcase a low waste café culture to the world.
The project team will be engaging with café workers and owners and a broad range of other stakeholders in the hospitality industry to understand the key causes of food waste. We will be working closely with industry to develop a chapter of the Stop Food Waste Australia Foodservice (Commercial) Sector Action Plan (SAP) for the café sector.
The aims of the project include;
- Developing fit-for-purpose knowledge and practical solutions to reduce food waste. These will be tested out in a living food lab, the CaféLab located in a bustling café precinct in Melbourne.
- Increasing transparency and knowledge in the hospitality industry about where and why ‘food waste or loss’ occurs.
- Empowering and enabling businesses to take action to reduce food waste in their own operations.
- Sparking cultural change across the hospitality industry regarding wasteful food practices and the benefits of sustainable and socially responsible alternatives.
- Engaging with businesses to become signatories of the Australian Food Pact, with particular emphasis on the onboarding of café chains to the pact.
- Using champions in the hospitality industry to build community knowledge, networks and action around food waste and alternative food practices.
August 2023 – March 2024