For the purposes of this Strategy, the following terms are used to describe Tasmania’s food relief system:

Food loss and waste is any food, and inedible parts of food, removed from the food supply chain to be recovered or disposed (including composted, crops ploughed in/not harvested, anaerobic digestion, bio-energy production, co-generation, incineration, disposal to sewer, landfill or discarded to sea).1

Food relief is the provision of food to people in need, delivered directly to individuals through a variety of different methods by community service organisations (food relief providers).

Food relief distributors are organisations that collect, sort and distribute surplus and donated food from across the state to food relief providers in Tasmanian communities.

Food relief providers are community service organisations that supply food relief directly to those in need. They are often charitable organisations and food provision may or may not be their core business.

Food relief providers may also be agents of food distributors (acquiring low cost food from distributors to give to their clients). Food relief is provided in several forms including hampers, food vans, ready-to-eat meals or low-cost food, while some organisations provide food vouchers.

Food rescue is the collection of surplus and donated food by food relief distributors who acquire food from a range of sources including agricultural producers, food processors, supermarkets, and other organisations.

Food resilience is the ability to prepare for, withstand, and recover from a crisis or disruption. A resilient food system is able to withstand and recover from disruptions in a way that ensures a sufficient supply of acceptable and accessible food for all.

Food security is understood to mean access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.2 It has four pillars of delivery:

  • Availability is about food supply and trade, not just quantity but also the quality and diversity of food. Improving availability requires sustainable, productive farming systems, well managed natural resources, and policies to enhance productivity.
  • Access covers economic and physical access to food. Improving access requires better market access for smallholders allowing them to generate more income from cash crops, livestock products and other enterprises.
  • Utilisation is about how the body uses the various nutrients in food. A person’s health, feeding practices, food preparation, diversity of their diet and intra-household distribution of food all affect a person’s nutrition status. Improving utilisation requires improving nutrition and food safety, increasing diversity in diets, reducing post-harvest loss and adding value to food.

Stability is about being food secure at all times. Food insecurity can be transitory, with short-term shocks the result of a bad season, a change in employment status, conflict or a rise in food prices. When prices rise, it is the poor who are most at risk because they spend a much higher portion of their income on food. Social nets can play an important role in supporting people through transitory food insecurity.3