Melbourne's Foodprint

This major report summarises research findings about what it takes to feed Melbourne - how much land, water, and energy and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and food waste generated.

This report explores Melbourne’s ‘foodprint’ – the environmental footprint of feeding the city. It also outlines the vulnerabilities in Melbourne's regional food supply and strategies for addressing the vulnerabilities:

  • It takes over 475L of water per capita per day to feed Melbourne, around double the city’s household usage
  • 16.3 million hectares of land is required to feed Melbourne each year, an area equivalent to 72% of the state of Victoria
  • Feeding Melbourne generates over 907,537 tonnes of edible food waste, which represents a waste of 3.6 million hectares of land and 180 GL of water
  • Around 4.1 million tonnes of GHG emissions are emitted in producing the city’s food, and a further 2.5 million tonnes from food waste
  • Key vulnerabilities in Melbourne’s regional food supply include loss of agricultural land, water scarcity and the impacts of climate change
  • Potential strategies to increase the sustainability and resilience of Melbourne’s regional food supply include increasing urban density, shifting to regenerative agriculture, increasing the use of recycled water for agriculture, reducing food waste and modifying our diets
  • Around 10% of the available recycled water from Melbourne’s water treatment plants would be enough to grow half of the vegetables that Melbourne eats
  • Melbourne’s city foodbowl could play an important role in increasing the resilience and sustainability of the city’s food supply

Melbourne's Foodprint: What does it take to feed a city?
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