Members of the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA) and major Australian retailers are working together to help reduce packaging and food waste.

They recently concluded a retail roundtable discussion, which was the third to take place in 12 months.

The concept of roundtable meetings was introduced by the AFPA and focuses on the issue of fresh produce packaging.

In the meeting, the partners highlighted the need for cooperation in order to increase sustainability in the fresh produce supply chain. The partners have also publicly committed to packaging targets.

AFPA CEO Michael Rogers said: “The roundtables are particularly useful forums for each party to outline their objectives in meeting packaging reduction targets. This type of conversation allows two key sections of the supply chain to constructively engage on how to meet these targets, without increasing food waste or removing fruit and vegetable offerings from Australian households.

“Both growers and retailers are hearing what consumers are saying about packaging on fresh produce and are working hard to provide direction that leads to solutions and positive outcomes for retailers, growers and, most importantly, consumers.

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“At the most recent roundtable, we were pleased to host representatives from Coles, Woolworths, ALDI, and Harris Farm Markets. Their commitment to working with fresh produce suppliers on packaging challenges and opportunities should be commended.”

The partners plan to work together at future roundtables in 2020 with the aim to drive industry efforts in minimising packaging and food waste.

The AFPA last year released ‘Packaging Materials Selector’ to help fresh-produce growers and packers find sustainable materials.