Uncover your True Cost of Food Waste

Uncover your True Cost of Food Waste

One third of the world’s food is wasted. It is a global challenge with significant economic and environmental impacts. From an Australian perspective1:

  • The amount of land used to grow wasted food covers more than 25 million hectares.
  • Eliminating this food waste would effectively save a massive
    • 286 litres of water, per person, per day
    • 312kg of food waste per person, per year, of which 70% of this food is edible.

The Australian Government has set a goal to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030, aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.32. Actions to be undertaken to reduce food waste are laid out in the National Food Waste Strategy Roadmap and the National Waste Policy Action Plan.

In 2018 the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre3 (CRC), funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Industry, Science and Resources’ Cooperative Research Centre Program, was established to work with research and industry partners to reduce food waste across the supply chain and to transform unavoidable waste into innovative products. Stop Food Waste Australia4 was later launched as an independent long-term partnership that brings together the people and programs needed to halve food waste in Australia by 2030. Together, these two divisions form Fight Food Waste Ltd, Australia’s pre-eminent agency devoted to reducing food waste.

Measuring your Food Loss and Waste is central to reducing it

You can only manage what you measure. Your business needs to understand where loss and waste is occurring and from such an understanding, better business decisions can be made.

Empauer Pty Ltd has created DIRECT, a software tool designed to measure, pinpoint, track, assess and enable you to reduce your food waste and associated costs.

DIRECT allows you to:

  • map food and non-food material flows (inc. associated costs) across your food supply chain,
  • quantify your business’ ‘true cost of waste’, and
  • undertake scenario comparisons to reduce costs and increase resource efficiency.

New income streams may eventuate because of DIRECT’s findings, resulting in food waste no longer costing your business and instead providing an additional source of revenue.

DIRECT provides you with a gold standard compliance framework. The tool is aligned to international standards and protocols in aimed at reducing waste such as:

  • The Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW Standard), developed by the global and multi-stakeholder FLW Protocol and
  • ISO Standards on Environmental Management – Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA): General Framework (051), Supply Chain (052) and Guidance for phased implementation (053).

These alignments provide consistency, flexibility and both internal and public reporting value. DIRECT’s interface, data gathering options, input data, terminology, and reporting are all aligned to these global standards, allowing enhanced credibility and trust in the quality of your results and reporting, which will be comparable to other studies done around the globe, thereby placing the results in a meaningful context.

Person holding clipboard
Reassign rejected food to avoid waste
Person doing compost in the backyard of his house. She is throwing waste of vegetables in the composter.
Place food scraps in compost bin

Additional Reading

For further information on Food Loss and Waste, I recommend the following links:

Empauer Pty Ltd and DIRECT

The Federal Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)

Food Innovation Australia Limited

Stop Food Waste Australia

Champions and Friends of Champions 12.3

About the Author:

Mark Preece is Senior Associate at Empauer Pty. Ltd. Empauer is a technology company which offers an enterprise tool that helps businesses measure and manage food loss and waste. Empauer is a founding member participant of the Fight Food Waste CRC, a technology Partner to Stop Food Waste Australia and a Friend of Champions 12.3

For further inquiries:


21-23 Stewart Street

Richmond, Victoria 3121 Australia

+61 3 9020 7295


  1. The National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study Final Report produced by Food Innovation Australia Limited

  2. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.1 Global Food Loss and Waste

  3. The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research (CRC) brings together 48 industry and 10 research partners, contributing $33 million cash and $57 million in-kind contributions. The CRC has funding for 10 years until 2028.

  4. Stop Food Waste Australia was established by the Minister for the Environment in December 2020 and has a key role in delivering the National Food Waste Strategy.
Women Looking For Food Inside Fridge