Validating WA Food Waste Opportunities: A Decision-Making Framework for SME’s | Fight Food Waste CRC
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Validating WA Food Waste Opportunities: A Decision-Making Framework for SME’s

The challenge

Many food and beverage Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) produce food waste as a part of their production processes. Due to the diverse nature of SMEs and how they operate, blanket interventions for food waste are difficult to develop and significant value can be left untapped. Many Western Australian (WA) food and beverage (F&B) manufacturing SMEs are interested in exploring shelf-life extension and food waste transformation options which would also reduce food waste (Business Visit Program, DPIRD 2022). Without access to a pre-feasibility decision-making framework to underpin and inform potential investment decisions there has been no simple pathway for busy and cash strapped SME businesses to quantify and evaluate identified waste stream opportunities. In the absence of a such a pathway, many opportunities remain unexplored and unknown.

Our plan

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA), in collaboration with Curtin University and Fight Food Waste CRC, will support SMEs and collaborations of SMEs who may lack time and financial capacity to investigate food waste innovation by creating a flexible, research-based framework to assist SMEs transform waste streams into value-add products or increase shelf-life to reduce waste. The decision-making framework, will be tested and validated across five WA waste priority commodity areas (identified through  academic and commercial desktop and practical research) in the form of case studies identified through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process. The tool will be designed to be suitable for industry application across a range of valorisation solutions.

The key outcomes of the project include to:

    1. Develop the decision-making framework
    2. Establish baseline data of major WA food waste resources
    3. Test and evaluate the framework on five WA SME case studies
    4. Develop the tool into a user friendly format
    5. Extension and training to WA F&B manufacturers to maximise impact


August 2023 to July 2026

Project Leader

Janet Howieson, Curtin University