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The Hidden Opportunity of Food Waste

  • Blinc Innovation Blinc Workshop Lincoln New Zealand (map)
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If food waste globally were a country, it would be the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions behind China and the United States. New Zealanders throw away 157,389 tonnes of food a year with a value of approximately $1.17 billion – globally, this is a $1 trillion problem. New Zealand Food manufacturers and retailers have been innovating to reduce waste but this now needs to extend to consumers as we all have a role to play to reduce GHG – per capita, New Zealanders are one of the highest food wasters in the OECD!  

 Our cold chain, growing population and move towards urbanisation are all sources of pressures faced by our food system as the world looks to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050. If we reduced food waste and loss by 50%, our current levels of food production would be sufficient to feed the entire population. As a country that export 95% of our food, have we worked out what our role is to lead food waste reduction? How do we value the waste and consider how else it can be used?  Do we understand the biggest contributor to waste and how do we think about this differently and capture the value and create new innovative solutions? What role does the circular economy play in how we approach this? Do we each know what our business, home or own carbon footprint is due to the food we waste?

 We’ll explore this challenge from environmental, social, economic and wellbeing perspectives. Food is one of our most precious resources and preventing waste and loss may provide some of the answers needed to healthy people, healthy communities and healthy planet

Presentation Slides (click to view):

Francesca Goodman-Smith | Foodstuffs

Andrew Fisher | EcoStock


8.45 : Breakfast & Networking

9.00am : Welcome & introduction

9.15am : Keynote address 1

9.30am: Keynote address 2

9:45am: Keynote address 3

10.00am : Panel discussion/Interactive Q&A session with Audience

10.30am : Speaking finishes, networking

11.00am : Event finishes

*Timings are approximate and are subject to change without notice

About the Speakers


Francesca Goodman-Smith - Foodstuffs NZ

Francesca started in her role as Waste Minimisation Manager at Foodstuffs earlier this year. She began her journey to help tackle New Zealand’s waste problem back in 2016 when she conducted studies on food storage solutions to reduce food waste and her Master’s research quantifying food waste across New Zealand’s grocery sector. Francesca was also involved in the food rescue scene where she developed and ran cooking workshops for food rescue recipients. In her previous role in public policy Francesca gained insights into how industry and Government can work together to drive sustainable change – she is taking these learnings into her current role where she manages a waste minimisation programme for over 130 Foodstuffs sites.


Andrew Fisher - EcoStock

Andrew is a pioneer in the feld of food-waste recovery who is eager to share ideas and learn from others. Andrew has negotiated with stakeholders, including international consultants, private enterprises, landowners, iwi, local government, MPs and government offcials to phase in food-waste fermentation for renewable energy importers, and logistics companies through is new partnership, Ecogas. Click here to read more.

Bayuble Team.png


Hawke’s Bay apple growers export over a billion apples every year; each one with a little plastic sticker attached.

A group of Hawke’s Bay teens, who call themselves "Bayuble," didn’t like the idea of all that plastic waste going into the environment and decided to do something about it.

Their solution: The UBLE - a 100% natural, water-soluble label.

It's sustainable, environmentally friendly, vegan, edible, and compostable. Proving that no problem is too small to solve!

Now studying at university (Zoe-Commerce and Maggie-Product Design at UC and Sarah- Commerce at Victoria) the team are continuing with Bayuble.

Left to right: Zoe Rookes, Sarah Wixon and Maggie Peacock

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