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FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

First Regional Dialogue On Food Losses And Waste

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
29-09-15 - 30-09-15

Presentation

The Latin America and the Caribbean region is a major producer of food worldwide. The region produces more food than required for consumption, with an average availability of energy from food close to 3000 kcal /capita /day, higher than the world average (FAO, 2014). The region also accounts for an important percentage of food for export to the rest of the world. According to FAO - ALADI (2015), the agri-food trade in the region has grown at a rate of 11% annually over the past five years, with strong growth in exports over imports, enabling a sustained increase of the food trade balance and strengthening the r position of the region as a food supplier.

Improvements in food and nutrition security are based largely on this positive macroeconomic situation observed during the last decade and the political commitment of the countries in the Region with the eradication of hunger (FAO, 2014).

Despite these important advances, 34.3 million people in the region still suffer from hunger (FAO, 2015).. According to FAO (2014) between 25 to 30 percent of food produced for worldwide human consumption every year is lost or wasted, where Latin America and the Caribbean lost or wasted about 15% of their food supplies.

Food losses and waste (FLW) vary at different points of the food chain:

Production 28%, Processing 6%, Distribution and Markets 17%, Storage and Handling 22%, and Consumption 28%.. These food losses and waste could feed 30 million people which translate to 64% of those suffering from hunger in the region, clearly indicating the potential impacts of reducing FLW on food and nutrition security.

The existence of this volume of FLW highlights not only an ethical problem but also the inefficient use of productive resources, directly affecting the sustainability of food systems and constitutes a threat to food and nutrition security.  Food production that is lost or wasted involves   inefficient use of resources like water, land, productive inputs, etc., also emissions and waste generated in the different stages of the supply chain.

The ALC region pioneered a proposal for hunger eradication by 2025, a goal adopted in 2005 by the Initiative without Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean and fully accepted by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States - CELAC in its Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication. To ensure that no man, woman, or child  is affected by undernourishment requires further efforts and the commitment to  food and nutrition security in the agenda of Objectives for Sustainable Development  (SDO), in order to finally eradicate hunger, poverty and malnutrition in the region. One of the lines of action identified to achieve this goal is to move towards the elimination of food losses and waste in the region.

Currently several actors within the food systems of the LAC countries are already developing actions to reduce FLW. However, these are isolated initiatives without concrete follow-up to the results obtained.

In that sense, since 2014 and to strengthen ongoing actions and new proposals, the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean raised a Regional Strategy to Reduce Food Losses and Waste.   This strategy has been validated by the Regional Committee of Experts on FLW,  with the support of the FAO Representations in the countries of the region and have begun  the establishment of National Committees of FLW, as a means  to progress towards the formation of a Regional Alliance for Food Loss and Waste Reduction (FLW) a -a platform for policy coordination and innovation to establish common goals for reducing food losses and waste - ; and building tools such as an International Code of Conduct for Food Loss and Waste Reduction in the region.

Hence the intention of establishing a dialogue with the countries of the region seeking to harmonize efforts, identifying needs and making visible the progress in the fight against hunger after reducing FLW.

Objective

To promote the reduction of food losses and waste as a strategy to support the eradication of hunger, poverty and malnutrition in LAC, within the framework of the Sustainable Development Objectives (Agenda Post - 2015)

Expected results

  1. Strategy presented and discussed with the countries of the region.
  2. Developed guidelines for the establishment of national committees for reducing   food losses and waste in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  3. Basis for determining the overall rate of food losses within the ODS framework.

To whom is it for?

This dialogue aims to involve authorities from countries of Latin America and the Caribbean linked to the initiatives / FLW working groups, national committees on food security and hunger eradication, together with technicians, researchers, civil society, academia, food industry and other actors involved in the food system, are able to move towards food losses and waste reduction at national and regional level.

Methodology

Prior to the event, regional information will be distributed to countries for delegate participation in the regional dialogue.

 During the meeting, three sessions will be carried out, where the participation of all country representatives is expected.

  • Background session and briefing through keynote and panel presentations about the progress and challenges of countries to reduce FLW.
  • Discussion among participants, where countries will have the opportunity to present their position on FLW Reduction.
  • Plenary Session to strengthen national proposals in the framework of the Alliance.