Friday - October 14, 2016

Local school kids join the race to reduce food waste this World Food Day

School students across Australia are taking a closer look at what’s inside their lunchboxes, and learning about the environmental impact of what’s placed on their plate in a bid to reduce food waste this World Food Day.

Marking the occasion on Monday 17th October, students will be putting into practice what they have been learning in the classroom through CSIRO’s Sustainable Futures program, which is supported by life science company Bayer.

A new education resource from the Sustainable Futures program is centred around food with students Learning about where food comes from, what resources are involved in producing it, how changes in the climate affect it and how to reduce waste.

Australian households waste more than 4 million tonnes of food every year and research shows that young Australians aged 18-24 are the worst food waste culprits[1].

Bayer and CSIRO hope that by educating the next generation, the cycle can be broken.

The Sustainable Futures program, developed for kids aged 8-14, is currently run in over 300 schools nationwide, with the number continuing to climb as educators and parents alike recognise the importance of sustainability practices fitting into the curriculum.

Richard Dickmann, Head of Sustainability, Bayer, said “Many people may think of food waste as harmless, but 30% or more of the food we produce is lost, which consumes, nutrients, water, land and impacts biodiversity.  This makes the task of feed our hungry planet that much harder.”  

“For World Food Day, we are placing particular focus on the impact food wastage has on our environment, and educating kids on the importance of and ways that they can make a difference.

“It’s clear from wastage statistics that young Australians are among the worst offenders and it is possible that a lack of education is the main reason for this. As such, we want to start the education process as early as possible, with the hope that we will not only stop the pattern of food wastage in young Australians, but will also see these positive habits passed on to their parents at home.”

Ange Andrews from CSIRO’s Sustainable Futures program said “it’s important for kids to understand where food comes from, how it’s produced and the resources that go into it so that they see the impact is more than just the food they throw in the bin.”

As part of World Food Day, CSIRO and Bayer encourage Aussies of all ages to be mindful of small changes they can introduce to help reduce their personal food waste. These could include:

1.      Compost: Install a compost bin in the backyard or worm farm on the balcony so you can convert your kitchen food scraps into nourishing food for your plants and garden

2.      Use all of your produce: Save peelings and off-cuts from your vegetable preparation and make a tasty stock

3.      Meal planning: Plan your meals in advance or use a menu planner so you only buy what you need from the shops or market

4.      Save leftovers: Eat your leftovers for lunch – don’t just leave them in the fridge

5.      Improve storage: Store food correctly to make sure it stays fresh for longer

Note to editors:

·         Local school case study available on request

·         Interview with Richard Dickmann, Head of Sustainability, Bayer

·         Interview with Ange Andrews, Sustainable Futures, CSIRO



For further information, please contact:

Lia Alexandrou

WE Buchan

02 9237 2814 / 0406 602 556

Jen McDermott

WE Buchan

02 9237 2809 / 0468 887 968

Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to


CSIRO and Sustainable Futures

CSIRO shapes the future. They do this by using science to solve real issues. CSIRO’s research makes a difference to people, industry and the planet. Sustainable Futures is a program run by CSIRO in partnership with Bayer to encourage schools to learn about the science behind sustainability and protecting our environment. The program provides digital teaching resources which includes a variety of ideas and activities to support the teaching of sustainability and the environment in Australian schools.  For more information, visit

[1] Love Food Hate Waste Report 2012, conducted by NSW Government