The SAVE FOOD initiative was launched by FAO and Messe Düsseldorf at the International Congress on Food Loss and Waste held at the Interpack trade fair in 2011.
On the occasion of this event, FAO’s the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division presented the first global study on food loss and waste, titled Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention. As a result and the commitments made, FAO-AGS established the Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction for the 2012–13 biennium, which is continuing and further expanding into its second biennium. Essentially all technical divisions in FAO are involved in the programme, as well as all regional offices and liaison offices. In addition, more than 250 external companies and organizations, public and private, small and large, are partners of the initiative. Now, three years later, the Interpack trade fair for the packaging and processing industry is scheduled again, and a new Save Food Congress will take place.
The two-day international congress will present and discuss with stakeholders from all sectors the issues of food loss and waste, with a special focus on fish, cereals, milk, fruits and vegetables and roots and tubers. This year’s theme is Collaboration for developing solutions. High-level representatives from other UN Organizations (UNEP, WFP, IFAD), public institutions and private companies will share their experiences and express their views on food loss and waste reduction. FAO will be represented by the SmartFish project of the Indian Ocean and by FAO-AGS, which will present the methodology and results of case studies conducted globally to analyse causes of food losses and find best solutions to reduce them. The conceptual approach proposed by FAO to address the issue of food losses, summarized below, will be shared with participants of the event.
“Food loss reduction has to be cost-effective in economic and environmental (resource use) terms/ It has to be the result of increased efficiency of value chains, and it has to be socially acceptable, leading to a fair distribution of benefits among the contributing actors in the value chains. As such, food loss reduction will contribute to increased food security and sustainable food systems. In order to achieve this, it is essential that all actors and stakeholders in the food systems are working together, adopt common goals, apply uniform methodologies and strategies, and develop conductive policies at corporate, institutional or national level.”
At the Interpack trade fair (8–14 May) businesses from over 100 countries will be exhibiting their products and services to an expected audience of more than 160 000 visitors. Save Food will be accommodated in a large pavilion, where partners of the Global Initiative have booths for display and an auditorium to deliver presentations. In its exhibition booth, FAO will display and present the regional focus of food loss and waste of the Global Initiative, with presence of colleagues from all regional offices . The officers will showcase FAO programmes in the regions directly or indirectly related to food losses, such as programmes on food security, poverty alleviation, agricultural and fisheries, value chain development, agro-industries, marketing and trade. An attractive and interactive exhibition will show FAO’s programmes and raise visitors’ interest to connect and provide feedback.