10th December 2013, Bucharest, Romania – H.E. Daniel Constantin, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania and Mr. Tony Alonzi, acting Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, signed an agreement to prepare the 29th FAO Regional Conference for Europe (ERC), which will be organized from 29 March – 4 April 2014 in Bucharest.
The FAO Regional Conference is the one of the main forums and a governing body agreeing on common priorities in the Region for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. It allows Ministers and representatives of member countries’ government agencies to discuss and decide on policies, which are important to all countries including the most developed countries of Europe and the Central Asia transition economies as well.
During the ERC session in Bucharest in April 2014, the issue of food losses and waste will be a central topic of the agenda. The information presented to the member countries will improve the understanding of the causes for food losses and waste in the Region. Preliminary findings indicate that the main reason for household waste are that consumers prefer to buy food products with a longer shelf life. This leads to an increase in unsold merchandise and thus to food being wasted that would otherwise have been perfectly edible. Many awareness raising and food waste reduction campaigns have been launched to address specific local circumstances that contribute to the reduction of food waste.
Other topics of discussion will include family farming as one of the main drivers for agriculture development in the Region.
Taking into consideration the emerging and contributing role of civil society, the Conference Week will provide a unique opportunity for NGOs/CSOs Consultation meeting on 29 and 30 March 2014.