Pertes et gaspillages alimentaires dans le contexte de systèmes alimentaires durables - Consultation électronique pour définir l’axe de l’étude

03.04.2013 - 30.04.2013

Le Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale (CSA), lors de sa 39e session (octobre 2012),  a demandé au Groupe d’experts de haut niveau (HLPE) d'entreprendre une étude sur « les pertes et les gaspillages alimentaires  dans le contexte de systèmes alimentaires durables », qui sera présentée en pleinière en 2014. Le rapport doit être axé sur les politiques, être pratique et opérationnel.

Dans le cadre de son  processus d’élaboration du rapport, le HLPE lance une consultation électronique destinée à recueillir les opinions, les réactions et les commentaires sur la pertinence et les interactions de  certaines questions clés que le rapport se propose d’aborder à la lumière de la demande du CSA et qui pourraient servir d’assises à ce rapport. Toute référence à des études mondiales et nationales ainsi qu'à des données pertinentes, en particulier en ce qui concerne le gaspillage d'aliments, est également la bienvenue.

Ces commentaires seront utilisés par le Comité directeur du HLPE pour préciser le mandat de l’étude et de l'équipe du projet HLPE qui sera chargée de préparer l'étude et les recommandations de politique.

Pour télécharger la proposition relative à la portée de l’étude, veuillez cliquer ici.
Si vous souhaitez contribuer, veuillez envoyer un email ou remplissez le formulaire ci-après.

La consultation sera ouverte jusqu’au 30 avril 2013.

_____

Dans le même temps, le HLPE lance un appel aux experts qui souhaiteraient participer à l’équipe du projet pour élaborer ce rapport. Les informations à ce sujet sont disponibles sur le site web du HLPE. Après avoir examiné les candidatures, le Comité directeur du HLPE désignera l'équipe du projet.

Le comité directeur du HLPE

Argentina ,
03.05.2013

COMENTARIO GENERAL

La Argentina apoya el desarrollo de iniciativas que tengan por objeto disminuir las pérdidas y desperdicios de alimentos.

Al respecto, cabe señalar que se trata de un tema con aristas multidisciplinarias en el que impacta no solo la infraestructura de almacenamiento, sino también el transporte,  el estado de los caminos, la capacidad y conocimiento de los trabajadores rurales, la capacidad de mantener una adecuada cadena de frío en la industria, la comercialización y la educación de los consumidores.

COMENTARIOS ESPECÍFICOS

En la orientación propuesta para el estudio se hace referencia a los resultados de Rio+20 Al respecto, se recuerda que el párrafo 110 del documento final de Rio+20 dice (subrayado agregado):

“Observando la diversidad de condiciones y sistemas agrícolas, resolvemos aumentar la producción agrícola sostenible y la productividad a nivel mundial, en particular mejorando el funcionamiento de los mercados y los sistemas de comercio y fortaleciendo la cooperación internacional, sobre todo en favor de los países en desarrollo, mediante el incremento de la inversión pública y privada en la agricultura sostenible, la ordenación de la tierra y el desarrollo rural. Las principales esferas que requieren inversión y servicios de apoyo son las prácticas agrícolas sostenibles; la infraestructura rural, la capacidad de almacenamiento y las tecnologías conexas; las actividades de investigación y desarrollo en materia de tecnologías agrícolas sostenibles; el fomento de las cooperativas y las cadenas de valor agrícolas fuertes; y el fortalecimiento de los vínculos entre los medios urbano y rural. También reconocemos que es necesario reducir considerablemente las pérdidas posteriores a la cosecha y otras pérdidas y desperdicios de alimentos en toda la cadena de suministro de alimentos.”

Se destaca que no se hace referencia en dicho caso a “sistemas alimentarios sostenibles”.

Asimismo, no se cuenta con una definición de dicho término y, por lo tanto, debería utilizarse terminología sobre la cual se cuente con definiciones acordadas a nivel internacional.

No es apropiado que se amplíe la noción de “residuos de alimentos” - definida en el documento como aquellos alimentos comestibles que se podrían haber comido y fueron desperdiciados - a las partes no comestibles de los alimentos que podrían usarse con otros fines no comestibles. El tema excede el ámbito de este trabajo y por tal razón no debería ser tratado en esta oportunidad.

Al enunciar las causas de las pérdidas y el desperdicio de alimentos, se hace mención a los aspectos biofísicos. En este sentido, sería importante brindar una idea más adecuada del alcance de este término. Asimismo, se debería mencionar otros aspectos que no han sido adecuadamente tomados en consideración, tales como las cuestiones estructurales que impactan sobre la infraestructura; comunicacionales; la educación de los actores al respecto; incorporación de nuevas tecnologías, etc.

Se comparte la idea de que al examinar los costos económicos de cualquier mejora se deberían evaluar conjuntamente con los costos económicos que ocasionan la perdida y los desperdicios, pues es la mejor manera de poder dimensionar los problemas. No obstante, se debe tener en cuenta que esta dinámica requiere de datos que muchas veces se estiman sobre la base de  cálculos inciertos y de indicadores que en ocasiones no se encuentran disponibles o que han sido elaborados en función de contextos existentes en países desarrollados y que no pueden ser utilizados en países en desarrollo, principalmente por la falta de datos locales.

La utilización de la noción de “uso excesivo de alimentos” excedería el ámbito específico del tema que aborda el estudio y podría desvirtuar los objetivos básicos del trabajo que se pretende llevar adelante, que es la pérdida en la poscosecha y el desperdicio de alimentos “que no se consumen”, y no aquellos consumidos en exceso por determinados grupos de personas.

Rosana Perrotti Brazil
03.05.2013

Dear all,

Hope you are doing fine.

I'd like to contribute with this subject, by presenting a sustainable solution to avoid food losses and waste and,  to participate in the Project Team for this report.

Let me please introduce myself. I have about 20 years experience with the food sector (Agriculture, Food Industry &  Supermarkets), in Brazil and Europe and, during the last five years, I have organized a group of very qualified people (also available), interested on finding  sustainable solutions to avoid wasting food  and to attend the critical issue with hunger, starvation and malnutrtion, at the same time.  The  solution found was entitled as a benchmarking of green economy, by  ICC - International Chamber of Commerce,  during the Rio+20 event in Brazil, last year. Please see page 129 of the attached file: ICC-Green economy and a presentation of the Project. 

In my opinion, the food industry has no means to forecast their sales with 100% of accuracy. Therefore, very difficult to avoid food waste as part of the whole process of commercializing food, specially in countries with geographical dimensions,  as Brazil.

The limited period of commercialization is one of the reasons of food waste (which applies to differents laws in differents counties): In Brazil, in order to avoid the penalties of selling products after the expiration date, the food products are taken out of the shelves days or even weeks before the expiration. From the shelves,  they go for the incineration or landfills most of them, still in good quality. So, the solution we are presenting is to act before the food deteriorates. Through this solution, we are able to extend the shelf life up to two years, by introducing innovative technologies. The good news about this process is that it's economically viable since we can convert the cost of discarting into cost of benefiting food and,  at the end we have a very high quality food to combate hunger.

I'd be delighted to be part of your team and to present this solution to your audience.

I am including further information here and attached to this message.

Many thanks to your attention.

Kind regards,

Rosana Perrotti
Founder of Plataforma SINERGIA
BRAZIL
 

Ver archivo adjunto: fome_english_2013_01.pdf
France and GISA France
02.05.2013

Dear hlpe secretariat,

Please find enclosed the comments of France and GISA (interdepartmental group on food security) on the termes of reference of the 2014 HLPE study  "losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems."

Best regards,

Marine RENAUDIN
Chargée de mission Sécurité alimentaire - Stratégies internationales de développement
Bureau du développement et des organisations internationales
SRI / DGPAAT / MAAF
Paris
 

Camelia Bucatariu FAO, Global initiative on food losses and food waste reduction (SAVE ...
30.04.2013

Dear HLPE,

I would like to share my personal comments:

Within the human right to food, prevention and reduction of food losses and food waste could support food and nutrition security for all -- through agricultural and food systems innovations and optimizations that may work at different levels of intervention and with different levels of governance and dynamism in rural, urban, and peri-urban areas.

The Policy and regulatory framework would consequently require a coherent, comprehensive and integrated approach; taking into consideration areas such as: agriculture, fisheries, forestry, taxation / market based instruments, competition, health and education, trade, standards, safety and quality, agro-industry, investment, services, energy, environment, security and justice. Experience and data, involving both private and public sector, that may support the work could be sourced from - to name just a couple - EU (e.g. EC, MS, EESC, EP, and FP7s: FUSIONS, FOODSECURE), OECD, FAO regional offices.

Additionally, the High-level consultation on Post-2015 development agenda identified prevention and reduction of food waste and loss as a priority within Sustainable and resilient food production and consumption(http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/post2015/sites/post2015/files/files/Synthesis%20document%204th%20April.pdf) The role that coutries would play is essential. 

Could the study provide guidance on:

  • capacity (both institutional and human) and knowledge opportunities and challenges that would enable or impede dynamic and multi-layered governance and engagement for sustainable change?
  • ex ante and ex post impact assessment of policy/ regulations (recommendations and concrete implementation) on all four dimension of food and nutrition security?

Could the study provide facilitation tools for identification and engagement of key stakeholders and prioritization of interventions at local, country, regional level? Would coordination challenges and opportunities between stakeholders be also addressed?  

How could SAVE FOOD: Global initiative on food losses and food waste reduction (http://www.fao.org/save-food/en/http://www.fao.org/save-food/en/ ) contribute to the process? SAVE FOOD is a public-private initiative (FAO, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, UN agencies e.g . UNEP with the partnership on Think.Eat.Save campaign, civil society) that works on: awareness raising, coordination and collaboration (e.g. definition of food loss and waste and assessment of food losses methodology), policy/ strategy and programme development, and investments formulation and implementation.

Best regards,

Camelia Bucatariu

Divine Njie Agro-food Industries Group, FAO, Italy
30.04.2013

Our work at the Agro-food Industries Group of FAO has centered on promoting and disseminating diverse technologies and strategies which contribute to reducing post-harvest food losses, adding value (including to food waste and food-related waste) and linking small producers and processors to markets.  This has been combined with quality management, logistics and infrastructure systems in order to increase efficiency in a host of food value chains and returns to chain actors in member countries. As an example, we have supported the metallic silo grain storage technology in dozens of developing countries over the last decade, thereby generating information which can be drawn upon to inform the proposed study on such issues as: South-South technology transfer and adaptation; technology integration within value-chain and systemic contexts; and public sector actions to facilitate adoption of technologies and foster their sustainability.  Re-alignment of our intervention strategy, from disjointed, single-point actions to systemic interventions, has been spurred by the changes taking place in global food systems.

Recent appraisal studies and stakeholder consultations we conducted in sub Saharan Africa and Latin America confirmed the importance of cold chain and logistics systems in the efficient functioning of food supply chains and the prevention of food losses and waste, especially of highly perishable commodities like milk, fruits and vegetables. An issue flagged in these studies and consultations which the proposed study could explore further is public and private sector roles in governance, especially as regards the regulatory framework, coordination, infrastructure development and financial support. The proposed study may also seek to understand the critical components and characteristics of these systems in so far as food losses and waste are concerned, the relationship between inadequacy in these systems and the extent of losses and waste, and the contribution of these systems to the sustainability of actions to reduce food losses and waste.

A recent workshop organized in partnership with the World Bank1 and surveys conducted among post-harvest practitioners revealed that the lack of a Community of Practice (CoP) is a key gap in efforts to reduce losses in developing countries. If it existed such a CoP would facilitate evaluation of innovations, sharing of field-based lessons and scaling up of practical lessons and good practices.  To address this gap, a global CoP is being set up within the framework of a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) funded project whose formulation is being led by us. The project shall be implemented jointly by FAO, IFAD and WFP beginning in 2013, and shall pilot the CoP in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.  It is envisaged that the CoP would inform policy processes not only at national and regional levels, but also global-level mechanisms such as the CFS.

The above mentioned workshop and surveys also underscored the need to promote collaboration and synergy.  In this regard, we have recently initiated work to form a network of partners within the framework of the “zero waste or loss of food” pillar of the UN Secretary General’s Zero Hunger Challenge. In order to make information on post-harvest management and value addition technologies and operations more easily accessible to member countries we are reinforcing and modernizing the well-known INPhO2 web platform.

The Agro-food Industries Group technical officers include: Anthony Bennett, Djibril Drame, Jorge Fonseca, Danilo Mejia, Joseph Mpagalile, Divine Njie (Group Leader) and Robert van Otterdijk. Further information on the Group’s activities can be found at: http://www.fao.org/ag/ags/, or through contacting the following e-mail address: Divine.Njie@fao.org.

1Report available at: http://typo3.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ags/publications/FAO_WB_ph_web.pdf

2Located at:  http://www.fao.org/inpho/en/

Betty Bugusu United States of America
30.04.2013

To HPLE Steering Committee

It’s my pleasure to contribute to this e-consultation.

I agree with the previous contributors that there is a great need to define and differentiate waste (prevalent in industrialized nations) from loss (prevalent in developing countries) in order to design the right interventions to address each one of them.  In my opinion, the issue of waste can be addressed fairly readily through education programs.  

My comments are focused on addressing food losses as they have a great impact in areas of highest food insecurity.   Much of the loss in these areas is caused by the following:

  1. Lack of markets and limited access to markets. Lack of markets is the biggest hindrance; characterized by lack of demand in the areas of production (rural) and lack of value –added products for areas of demand (urban). Since many of the local crops are consumed locally on the farm, they have had minimum to no penetration into markets. Furthermore, the highly perishable crops such as roots and tubers, fruits and vegetables always require immediate processing to enhance shelf-life. The problem is exacerbated by limited access to markets due to poor infrastructure and lack of distribution channels for their raw commodities
  2. Limited access to improved post-harvest technologies. Majority of the local farmers and processors often have no access to improved and end up with poor quality products that do not meet the market standards
  3. Limited linkage to the private sector for sustainability of the whole supply chain system. Not much effort has been put into development of high-quality, value-added products (food and non-food) that are attractive to entrepreneurs.  

The conglomeration of these issues results in high losses after harvest and low motivation for farmers to produce more.

My recommendations:

The current focus on increasing agricultural productivity is not enough the improve food security, especially as it is already constrained by diminishing natural resources (land, water, and energy) and climate change.  Investment in downstream post-harvest activities is necessary.  An effective value chain approach that emphasizes linking farmers to markets is essential. This can be achieved through development of technologies and policies that support investment in market and trade opportunities.

Technology recommendations

  1. There is need to identify, develop, and share appropriate technologies in the post-harvest segment of the value chain including storage, processing, marketing, and distribution.  For example, technologies to transform raw commodities into value-added products market expansion. The work of Dr. Philip Nelson (Purdue University) in food loss reduction that earned him the World Food Prize (WFP) is proof of the importance of technology development.  Dr. Nelson designed the bulk aseptic processing technology which reduced food losses of fruits by processing them to a shelf-stable form for local, regional, and international markets, and trade.  (http://www.worldfoodprize.org/en/laureates/20002009_laureates/2007_nelson/)
  2. Effective technology dissemination mechanisms and platforms are needed to ensure the technologies reach the end users.

Policy recommendations

  1. Increased investment in post-harvest harvest research, development and capacity building.
  2. Establishment of appropriate financing models for the implementation of successful post-harvest technologies. Many of the technologies require financing beyond micro-finance that is prevalent in developing countries.
  3. Deliberate efforts for the public sector to engage private sector for enhancement and scale up of successful interventions
    1. Implementation of trade agreements (national, regional and international) and harmonization of standards.
    2. Improved linkages among government agencies responsible for agriculture, agribusiness and agro-industries

Suggested next steps

This consultation is a good first step to initiate a formal dialogue among leading experts and stakeholders on food waste and losses.   Lately, several initiatives have been established by different organizations to help reduce losses. There is need to integrate the initiatives in order to maximize use of resources, avoid redundancy in programs, and encourage cooperation.

  1. Create a platform for continuous engagement by stakeholders to provide research and information updates for policy development around the issue of food losses.
  2. Develop a strategic roadmap on prioritized challenges and opportunities relative to food loss post-harvest and market development issues for use by stakeholders, funding institutions, and policymakers working in food security and economic development.
Ulrika Franke Swedish Board of Agriculture, Sweden
30.04.2013

The Swedish Board of Agriculture has worked on a food waste project and found that definition of food waste and food loss is of high importance. In order to be able to compare figures between countries and over years, we need to use the same definitions. There is an ongoing project in the EU, called FUSIONS, working with this matter. The Nordic Council of Ministers are currently initiating a Nordic project and one issue is to work on definitions alongside with FUSIONS.

We have also found that we need more data on food waste and food loss from all parts of the food chain. Swedish Ministry for Rural Affairs is initiating a national project where one issue is data collection where data is currently missing.

In both the Nordic and the national project, we also want to investigate what policies and standards give us unnecessary food waste. We also want to see if there are any differences between the Nordic countries in terms of interpretation etc.

We have also identified a need to connect food waste to other food issues, such as food safety, health but also to food "experience". In other words to work both on enjoying food and taking care of food, alongside with safety and health aspects.

Australia ,
30.04.2013

Australian Contribution to the High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) scoping note on the role of Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems

General Comments

Australia supports the proposed scope of the HLPE report on food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems.  We consider food loss and wastage as a key issue affecting long term global food security.

As the issue of food losses and waste is being explored in a range of multilateral fora, we recommend the HLPE consider all activities in this space to ensure there is no duplication of effort. For example, Chinese Taipei is leading a significant 3 year project in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on addressing food losses.  It is important to look at both activities (CFS/HLPE and APEC) together and to assess how the APEC project can benefit from the CFS (and other) work already done internationally on food waste. We recommend a similar process be undertaken for other food loss and waste projects. This will ensure the HLPE report adds maximum value and has concrete outcomes.

We support the report examining ways to address over nutrition and food being diverted for non-food uses. We also recommend that the report disaggregates results from the perspective of developed, developing and BRIC countries. The report should identify realistic goals in the short to medium term that mitigate against food security risks. For example, zero loss and waste is a laudable goal but unlikely to be achieved on anything less than a generational timescale. It will be important for the HLPE report to identify achievable short to medium term outcomes.

Australia considers that a very important part of the global response will be the incentives in the market and put forward by individual governments that contribute to food loss and wastage, including trade protections and bio-fuel policies. Australia is seeking improved global food security by supporting a rules-based multilateral trading system and open markets, supported by appropriate economic and trade policies and good governance practices at global, regional and national levels. Food loss and waste can be addressed by reducing the use of agricultural subsidies so that resulting overproduction does not discourage production in developing countries. Removing import and export trade barriers so that food can move more freely to where it is needed most will also assist in addressing food loss and waste. We suggest the report examines the positive role open trade can have in this space.  

Concluding Comments

The Australian Government thanks the HLPE for developing a scoping note for their report on food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems. Australia is happy to engage with the HLPE to provide comment on future documents and draft reports.

Rahul Goswami Social sector researcher, National Agriculture Innovation Project, India, ...
30.04.2013

Dear HLPE and FSN Forum,

In considering the matter of food losses and food waste, the request by the CFS seeks a broad understanding of the issues that contribute to loss and waste. This understanding may be gained by applying the sustainability perspective with its three dimensions. It is also useful to apply perspectives that are held outside the sphere of the FAO and allied inter-governmental and multi-lateral agencies. These perspectives do much to link this topic with cultural approaches to food and cultivation, with the relevance of natural justice, or with the many limitations of current economic models when faced with the need for equity.

The guidance note has said: "Their global reduction [of food losses and food waste] is now presented as essential to improve food security (HLPE 2011, FAO 2012ab) and to reduce the environmental footprint of food systems (HLPE 2012, FAO 2012ab, UNEP 2012ab)." References have been made to the Rio+20 Conference and the Zero Hunger Challenge.

1. Connecting food insecurity (and hunger and malnutrition) directly with food losses and food waste is an area of policy that is woefully scarce of study and evidence. In part, this is because the accepted definitions of food losses (post-harvest and en route market aggregators) and food waste (within the retailing and processing cycles, in households and wherever food is prepared and sold) are seen as lacking essentially technological and institutional inputs that can bring in 'efficiency' and help change consumer behaviour.

The guidance note has also said that "food losses and waste can be first seen as a reduction of food availability for the poor and hungry" and that "by reducing the amount of food available, they [losses and waste] also have an impact on prices and thus on access to food". This is not as pervasive as is being made out. In most countries - and now the usual distinctions of 'developed' and 'developing' ought to be discarded, because the rate of adoption of 'food chains' and retail organising is so high - food losses occur because of the institutionalised pattern of food flow, from producing districts and counties to cities and urbanising regions that demand primary food crops. Rodale showed in 1981 that the average distance food travels from farm to consumer's home is 2,080 kilometres. The HLPE and CFS would do us a considerable service by, for example, mobilising in a collaborative manner the Food Security Network to seek and provide evidence of lower (negligible or recyclable) food losses in societies where the infrastructure-retail connection is weak or absent, and indeed for all those who continue to pursue fieldwork, such communities abound, and their food economics (and ecological grounding) is quite different. By the same token, food waste is to be found - and there is much new evidence on the subject - rising where urbanisation is increasing and where the agricultural models of the 1970s have, with technical booster shots, with monetary inducements linked to opportunistic policy, mutated into the 'chain'-based food and processed food delivery systems of this decade and the last one.

2. There is in the guidance note a concern raised about the energy required to grow food (as also to move it and transform it) and of that energy being lost because of food waste and loss. Hence, "reducing food losses and waste would also reduce the pressure on natural resources" said the guidance note and invokes "better resource efficiency".

This is indeed an exceptionally important point. Energy has become fundamental to the modern system of cultivation, collection, movement, processing, packaging, retail, distribution, sale and disposal. There are in general different levels of energy intensity to be found in meats (livestock, fish and poultry) as compared with cereals one the one hand and vegetables and fruit on the other. Noble announcements and promises notwithstanding (these are made by UN member states at the usual round of large gatherings every year, they are made during the G8 and G20 meetings, during the multitude of economic summits such as the World Economic Forum), neither the food industry nor governments (central or provincial) is in practice recognising (let alone curbing) the energy intensity of the modern food system.

If we look at some evidence from the USA (no doubt similar studies exist in the EU) between 1992 and 2002 the total energy use grew by 3.3% and food-related energy use by 22.4% (studied by Canning and others, 2010). Indeed, the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service analysis of food system energy use indicated that while total per capita energy consumption fell by about 1% between 2002 and 2007, food-related per capita energy use grew nearly 8%.

Now counterpose this startling food-energy overshoot with the following complaint: "In industrialised regions, almost half of the total food squandered, around 300 million tonnes annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption. This is more than the total net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa, and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 870 million people hungry in the world." The complainant was the Director-General of FAO, when the FAO together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) began a campaign to encourage simple actions by consumers and food retailers to cut the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost or wasted every year.

The imperative couldn't be more clear, but the energy (and therefore resource use, and the attendant methods used to extract those resources, from forests and rangelands, from the Arctic to under coral reefs) quotient of industrialised food is touched upon even more infrequently in what we today call 'emerging' and 'transition' 'economies' (emerging from what, to where, transitioning out of what, and why 'economies' when 'countries' or 'nations' served us perfectly well, such is the insidious nature of the market vocabulary). The race to commodify primary crop and food produce in South, East and South-East Asia has made it very difficult to assess the energy sunk into the industrial-commercial food systems these countries have adopted (P R China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand), a difficulty that is usually accompanied by the inappropriateness of questioning such costs in the face of hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in a number of these countries. But we ought not to attempt outrunning energy limits to be respected - if FAO has showed (a 2012 report) that in the 'developed world' the consumption stage of the food chain is the least energy-efficient of all, we need also to recognise that the food systems that enabled such profligacy have been eagerly built (and are multiplying) in Asia.

If the 2010 study referred to above showed that food processing and consumption together accounted for about 60% of total 2002 food-related energy flows in the USA, a rise of 5% from 1997, then energy poverty (an awkward term, as it usually refers to grid power, and which tends to ignore energy thrift and ingenuity that can allow communities to live full lives with little or no dependence on fossil fuels) must be a backdrop. According to the International Energy Agency, about 1.4 billion people lack access to electricity (of the measureable, distributable kind) and about 2.7 billion people rely on biomass (as did their ancestors through the ages) for cooking and for light. Cooking energy can represent a significant part of the income of poor families. If in South Africa, the average low-income home spends 25% of its income on energy (compared with 2% for wealthier homes) then in South Asia such energy may reserve an equal proportion of income; after 60% of the total income is spent on food, that expense, together with the cost of buying firewood, coal or kerosene for cooking, leaves precious little for medical expenses, for education, topping up a mobile phone account, being able to buy one fruit a week.

3. The costs of that packet of pasta, that tetrapak (the 'xerox' of food packaging) of juice, that sachet of condiments, that plastic cup of ready-to-eat noodles. "Food waste at the consumer level in developed and in some developing countries is also emblematic of non-sustainable consumption patterns," said the guidance note which has added, "reducing food waste appears as a way to raise awareness more generally on sustainable consumption as a driver of sustainable food systems". Not I think in the face of a macro-economics that incentivises reckless practices from cultivation, to movement, to processing and packaging, to shaping consumer behaviour using advertising and aspiration - an alarming waste is built into such an approach, because the way in which national accounts are calculated, costs of such waste to environment and living habitats and to communities are externalised, anonymised.

And so we have in 2013 two generations (the younger one begins at an age of less than ten) of food consumers who have little or no community memory passed to them about food scarcity, or about famine. Whether in Mumbai, India or in Los Angeles, USA or in Sao Paulo, Brazil they have grown used to demanding and expecting the fulfilment of certain tastes (alien to their local cultures only 50 years ago) at whim, for these are accessible through a multitude of 'food service' outlets (which contribute to the global homogenisation of tastes and trends). Such behaviours are encouraged, and are the bitter glue that binds our concern about food losses and food waste, and these came to be global early, when for example canning became common, or when the rice cooker became an object of desire in middle class homes (how much resource inefficiency was represented by that device, a mixture of 'cheap' electronics, the supply of electricity, timed 'convenience', and at the end of it rice in ten minutes that required industrial processing which removed all the nutrients from the grain), or the takeaway styrofoam cup of coffee, a trend-status liquid that retails for about USD 3 for an average blend, a price that, measure for measure, is about 80 times what the smallholder farmer of arabica earns.

If we have a CFS that is wise about food systems - that they "encompass the ecosystem and all activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food" - then we can ask also for a CFS that recognises the extra-industrial world (see FAO's profoundly inspirational Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)) in which such 'losses' and 'waste' are concerns rendered much smaller because food continues to be treated as the basis of human life, with respect, with spirituality.

Yours sincerely, Rahul Goswami
 

Adèle Irénée Grembombo France
29.04.2013

Mon intervention s’oriente vers les pertes au cours du transport et du stockage en République Centrafricaine.

Transport des produits agricoles:

Les pertes post-récoltes sont accrues lors du transport. En République Centrafricaine (RCA), il existe un important flux des produits agricoles des zones de production en milieu rural vers les centres de consommation dans les grands centres urbains. Mais le circuit de commercialisation est affecté par de multiples problèmes parmi lesquels, on note un faible développement des moyens de transport causé par la dégradation des routes et pistes rurales. Le réseau routier de la RCA est estimé à 25600 km, dont 15000km de pistes rurales et environ 10000km de routes nationales et régionales. La RCA dispose d’un espace rural enclavé avec plus de 90% du réseau routier rural en mauvais état ou impraticable et seulement 700 km des routes sont bitumés. Les moyens de transport des produits sont inadéquats. Ce qui limite l’accès à des produits locaux frais sur les marchés. Les camions transportent à la fois des passagers et des produits agricoles frais et secs. A destination, la plupart de ces produits sont hors d’usage. Surtout les produits périssables tels que les fruits et légumes. Ces pertes diminuent la marge bénéficiaire des acteurs et les  qualités hygiénique et nutritionnelle des produits.

Modes de stockage des produits

Les structures de stockage sont traditionnelles et construites en matériaux végétaux, rudimentaires. La performance de ces structures est limitée avec une faible capacité à protéger les produits contre l'humidité, les insectes et les microorganismes. Les structures sont adaptées qu’à une production de subsistance pour une campagne agricole.

Solutions

-Développement du réseau routier (bitumage de toutes les routes nationales et secondaires, entretien des pistes rurales)

  • -Amélioration des moyens de transport
  • -Promotion de l’artisanat agroalimentaire

Adèle Irénée GREMBOMBO

Consultante en Nutrition