National Food Waste Research Centre makes appointment

The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre has appointment Francesca Goodman-Smith to the role of TRANSFORM program leader to drive growth in transforming food waste into higher value products. The appointment is effective 6 April 2021. Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre CEO Dr Steven Lapidge said that Francesca was chosen to lead this program after an extensive and competitive international selection process.

“Francesca was the obvious choice; she is literally writing the book on the emerging upcycled food industry as co-chair of the Upcycled Food Standards Committee in the Upcycled Food Association, USA,” he said. “Upcycled foods are a huge opportunity for food processing and manufacturing businesses here in Australia, using what would traditionally be seen as food waste and turning it into new innovative products.”

Goodman-Smith most recently held the position of waste minimisation manager with Foodstuffs, New Zealand’s biggest supermarket chain. Francesca also sits on the University of Otago’s food waste research theme steering committee and is one of 12 New Zealand Food Waste Champions working to accelerate progress towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

“This appointment marks an exciting new phase for the Fight Food Waste CRC’s TRANSFORM program,” Lapidge said.

“With the biggest share of our research investment under our new 2021-2028 Investment Framework, the TRANSFORM program is set to double in value in the coming 12 months.

“With Francesca at the helm, we are open to new businesses with new ideas, particularly large-scale industry research opportunities involving multiple partners to maximise impact.

“Supporting Francesca will be deputy program leader, Meagan Wheeler. Meagan has been with us for nearly two years as a program coordinator and her clear leadership has warranted this elevation.

“In a short two and a half years, the Fight Food Waste CRC has established its initial research portfolio of 40 projects, we’ve got 60 participants and close to 200 researchers working on solutions to address Australia’s $20 billion food waste problem.

“We are committed to reducing 30 million tonnes of food waste and in turn 44 million tonnes of CO2e GHG emissions, increasing industry profitability by $2 billion, rescuing 20 million kgs of food, training 250 industry professionals each year, and graduating 40 future leaders in the Australian food industry.”

Goodman-Smith and Wheeler will be located at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), a research institute of the University of Queensland, supported by the Queensland Government.

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