National food waste research centre appoints global leader

15 March 2021

The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Francesca Goodman-Smith to the role of Transform Program Leader to drive growth in transforming food waste into higher value products, effective 6 April 2021.

Ms Francesca Goodman-Smith
Ms Francesca Goodman-Smith

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.

Ms 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,” Dr 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, Ms 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.”

Ms Goodman-Smith and Ms 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.

For further information please visit the Fight Food Waste CRC website www.fightfoodwastecrc.com.au 


Media contacts: Tanya Wilkins, Fight Food Waste CRC media M. 0439 958 824 E. tanya@fightfoodwastecrc.com.au or Carolyn Martin, UQ QAAFI Media E. carolyn.martin@uq.edu.au M. 0439 399 886.


The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre launched in July 2018, and brings together industry, research and the community to capitalise on Australia’s food waste opportunities. Winning this fight can save Australia $20 billion per annum in wasted food. Through its three research and development programs, the Fight Food Waste CRC will REDUCE food waste throughout the supply chain, TRANSFORM unavoidable waste into innovative products, and ENGAGE with industry and consumers to deliver behavioural change.

The Fight Food Waste CRC is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as part of the CRC Program that supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community.


The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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