The opportunities for Australia’s packaging and processing machinery sector to tackle food waste
Across the food supply chain, the use of some technologies and processes can directly result in food waste generation, including during harvesting and processing, in customising portion sizes, through product and date labelling, shelf-life extension and product packaging. For food producers often the type of packaging and processing machinery available dictates how effectively resources are used and the volumes of food waste produced. Equipment manufacturers may not be aware of the critical role they play in reducing food waste.
The Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) was established in 1983 to promote, integrate and foster participation and development at all levels of the packaging and processing machinery industry in Australia. Within the APPMA membership there is a diverse range of technology and service providers. Understanding how this sector can promote these technologies and services to the food industry to realise new opportunities to reduce and/or transform food waste is the challenge being addressed. The aim of this project is to therefore to consolidate the ways that Australian packaging and processing machinery can reduce and/or transform food waste and to provide equipment manufacturers with improved knowledge and understanding of the food waste challenges. In isolation, a single initiative will not address the issue at scale, however driving collaboration across the APPMA with the various packaging providers and processing companies can achieve this.
The APPMA will drive the involvement of its members in this project to identify and grow best practice in reducing food waste though Australian packaging and processing machinery companies. Their members include companies that supply and service machinery across many sectors including dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, confectionery, bakery, fresh produce and beverages. The core outputs of the project are knowledge and education, opportunity scouting, and capability mapping. The APPMA will promote new ideas around improved machinery designs and features as well as case studies that illustrate the machinery opportunities to reduce food waste.
This project will map current APPMA member operations against the capabilities of their technologies and services. APPMA members will receive information on the ideal resource efficiency, packaging and processing, and transformation of food waste through on-farm, processing, and retail stages. Industry surveys and a technological and market analysis will identify the food waste trends, opportunities and threats to packaging and processing machinery firms operating in the food industry. Equipment manufacturers will gain improved knowledge and understanding of the food waste challenges and opportunities that will enable them to improve machinery (system) designs and features to combat food waste. APPMA members will be able to take advantage of these new business opportunities to ensure their technologies and services are reducing food waste.