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FAO is moving in the right direction, says Denmark

Director-General meets Danish Ministers at 3GF

21 October 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark – The Government of Denmark voiced its appreciation for the transformation that FAO is undergoing to increase the effectiveness of its work to eliminate hunger, saying the organization is “moving in the right direction.” 

“We appreciate the progress being made and the vision for the Organization,” the Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, Christian Friis Bach, told FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. 

“This paves the way for stronger engagement and partnership,” Minister Friis Bach added.

Graziano da Silva met with Friis Bach and other Danish ministers while in Copenhagen to attend the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF). Graziano da Silva spoke about the importance of reducing food loss and waste.

“FAO estimates that each year, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted - around 1.3 billion tons. This costs around $750 billion annually. If we reduce food loss and waste to zero, it would give us additional food to feed 2 billion people,” said Graziano da Silva.

During the meeting, the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karen Angelo Hækkerup, thanked FAO for its work to increase awareness and reduction of food waste.

“The Danish Government recognizes the effort FAO is making to find solutions to food loss and food waste and increase efficiency in agriculture,” said Minister Karen Angelo Hækkerup.

FAO works on numerous initiatives to reduce the loss and waste of food. It launched the SAVE FOOD global initiative together with the United Nations Environment Programme and Messe Dusseldorf to reduce food loss and waste along the entire chain of food production and consumption, and collaborates with UNEP,  WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) and other partners in the Think.Eat.Save. campaign designed to target and change wasteful practices.

Post 2015: energy, food and water

Graziano da Silva also met Denmark’s Minister for the Environment,

Ida Margrete Meier Auken. Auken noted that energy, food and water were key elements for sustainable development and central to the post-2015 agenda.

Graziano da Silva said that water was essential for food security and nutrition, adding that agriculture was the greatest user of freshwater resources. Improving irrigation, using drought-resistant seed varieties, and reducing food loss and waste would contribute to the more sustainable use of water, he said.

Somalia

Denmark is one of FAO’s partners in ongoing efforts to build resilience in Somalia. It has contributed some $10 million to efforts to support poor pastoralists and agricultural families.

Graziano da Silva said FAO welcomed Denmark’s support: “We cannot stop droughts from happening, but we can prevent it from becoming a famine,” he said.

Recalling a recent visit to Somalia, Minister Friis Bach congratulated the Director-General for FAO’s work in the field.