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Zero waste facility to be operational by the end of 2025

Reducing food waste in Australia with innovative mushroom farming

Unfortunately, up to 30% of farm produce is wasted in Australia, but a Melbourne-based mushroom grower is pioneering efforts to minimize this through innovative practices. Georgia Beattie of Bulla Park is working closely with buyers to adjust supply volumes, aiming to optimize utilization of every mushroom produced. Beattie highlighted the challenges of perishability in the industry and is taking steps to extend the shelf life of mushrooms and other produce by planning a zero waste studio at Buller's Rest. This facility will focus on drying produce, which not only maintains its nutritional profile but also extends its shelf life significantly.

The initiative is supported by a grant from Coles and is intended to serve as a resource for local farmers, allowing them to contribute surplus produce that would otherwise be wasted. The zero waste facility, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2025, will utilize solar and wind power.

Beattie, who also serves on the board of the food charity Second Bite, underscores the importance of rethinking the treatment of fresh produce to reduce waste. Second Bite CEO Daniel Moorfield has expressed strong support for the project, emphasizing its potential to convert surplus food into a form that can be used for a longer period, thus addressing both waste reduction and food scarcity.

With over a billion kilograms of fruits and vegetables wasted annually on Australian farms and the global need for increased food production, initiatives like the one led by Beattie are seen as vital steps towards sustainability and food security. The proposal to incentivize farmers and supermarkets to donate surplus food is also being debated, highlighting a growing awareness and action against food waste in Australia.


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