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SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction
SAVE FOOD Newsletter
SAVE FOOD Newsletter
May 2016
SAVE FOOD newsletter

Dr Abebe Haile Gabriel, the Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and FAO Representative to Ghana with Ghana's Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah (Photo: ©FAO/Samuel Creppy)FAO Regional Office for Africa and the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade and Industry have launched a new regional project on improving food packaging for the small and medium agro-enterprise sector in ten countries of sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia). The three year-project is jointly managed by FAO, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by Industria Macchine Automatiche (I.M.A.) S.p.A. IMA is a partner in FAO’s Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, otherwise known as the SAVE FOOD Initiative, and committed to sponsoring SAVE FOOD activities related to food packaging. Other partners include the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in East and West Africa. Read more...


According to FAO, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost each year – representing 30–40 percent of total food production. Unused food that is thrown away amounts to more than 100 million tonnes in Europe and 18 million tonnes in Germany. A large volume of these losses along the value chain could be avoided, including at the harvest, postharvest and processing phases and during distribution to consumers. Read more...

The new online discussion in the Community of Practice Forum co-moderated with FANRPAN aims to share and exchange about: 1) Existing policy and regulatory frameworks aimed to reduce food loss along food supply chains are shared (policies, standards, norms) at country and regional level, and 2) Processes to establish and improve such frameworks (e.g. policy dialogues, policy development strategies) to be used as guidance for replication, including references to involved actors at country and regional level. Read more...

In 2015, as part of the SAVE FOOD Global Initiative, Autogrill – a multinational company with motorway and airport restaurants in 30 countries – signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to cut food loss and waste in its 4 000 outlets around the world, while creating awareness on the issue among its customers through information materials and a toolkit. Read more...

Feedback, an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to ending food waste at every level of the food system, announced its U.S. campaign, which is designed to educate people on how they can redefine their relationship to food waste and foment change in the American food system. A series of "Feeding the 5000" events will be hosted in New York City (Tuesday, May 10th, 11am-4pm in Union Square) and Washington, D.C. (Wednesday, May 18th, 11am-4pm in Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center). Read more...

A new short film produced in partnership by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and Racing Horse Productions spotlights how the confusion around expiration date labels contributes to food waste in America. "EXPIRED? Food Waste in America" looks at the specific example of milk in Montana, where the state law requires the sell-by date on all milk to be no later than twelve days after pasteurization. Read more...

European Commission
In order to support achievement of the SDG 12.3 target on food waste and maximise the contribution of all actors, the Communication on Circular Economy calls on the Commission to establish a Platform dedicated to food waste prevention. The EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW) aims to support all actors in: defining measures needed to prevent food waste; sharing best practice; and evaluating progress made over time. Read more...

Champions 12.3
The Champions 12.3 coalition announced that six new international leaders are joining its effort to inspire ambition and mobilize action to reduce global food loss and waste. Champions 12.3 was launched at the 2016 World Economic Forum by the chief executive officers of major companies, government ministers and executives from research and intergovernmental institutions, foundations, farmers’ organizations and civil society groups. Read more...

Fresh Plaza
Cooking bananas are the main staple crop in Uganda, produced mostly by smallholders for food and income. However, stakeholders in the cooking banana value chain risk having high postharvest losses because of the short edible life of bananas and damage arising from poor handling after they are harvested, leading to large physical and economic losses. Read more...

The Chicago Council
On 2 March, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs launched the “Growing Food for Growing Cities" campaign to explore the challenges that urbanization poses to global food security and the opportunities it creates for small-scale farmers to connect to burgeoning urban markets. Read more...

The Guardian
Tesco plans to relax its rules on fine green beans imported from Kenya in a move expected to save more than 135 tonnes of edible crops from going to waste every year. The largest retailer in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said that shoppers’ demand for pre-prepared vegetables meant that until recently growers were required to supply fine beans within a strictly specified size range, and to trim them of their “strings” before packing them for shipment to the United Kingdom. Read more...

The Christian Science Monitor
Reducing food waste would not only help feed the world’s hungry, but also mitigate climate change, say scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. In 2012, food waste generated a carbon footprint of 3.3 gigatonnes – if food waste was a country, it would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions, after the United States of America and China. Read more...

Postharvest Education Foundation
This conference, to be held on 28–31 March 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya, will provide a platform for researchers, academics, farmers, industry, development agencies, civil society and policy-makers to learn, share information and build networks and partnerships with the overall objective of identifying effective interventions for reducing food loss and waste in the continent. Read more...

Increasing consumption of animal products will give rise to a huge demand for animal feed. Meeting this demand will be a challenge, given the scarcity of natural resources such as land and water. Currently, fruit and vegetables account for a substantial share of the approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is lost and wasted annually. This FAO review, the first in a series, discusses options for and challenges in using fruit waste and by-products as animal feed. The full paper (as a pdf) can be obtained from harinder.makkar@fao.org.

People’s Daily online
China provides subsidies and takes other measures to reduce the loss of agricultural products caused by problems with storage and processing, but postharvest losses still cost the country more than 300 billion yuan (US$46 billion) each year. Experts and local officials are calling for more measures to combat this problem. Read more...

University of California
“The three most important aspects of postharvest handling are temperature, temperature, temperature,” says Michael Reid, specialist in cooperative extension on postharvest issues at the University of California, United States of America. In New York State, farmer Ron Khosla found that his vegetable crop was spoiling too quickly, but he could not afford to buy a walk-in cooler for his small farm. He invented a solution to this problem: a small electrical device he calls a CoolBot that tricks an air-conditioner into getting colder without freezing over, turning a well-insulated room into a cold room at lower costs than refrigeration. Read more...

El País
At the most recent Solutions for a Better Life forum organized by multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer, Ivan Leon, assistant programme representative for FAO’s office in Colombia, said that although the world could produce enough to feed its population, the problem is ensuring food availability for everyone. He also referred to the waste of food. Read more...

The Guardian
One of the world’s biggest hotel chains has announced that it will plant vegetable gardens at many of its hotels as part of a plan to cut food waste by a third. AccorHotels, which includes the Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis chains, intends to “reduce food waste by 30 percent, in particular by sourcing food locally”, says Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin. Read more...

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Next events

Regional Conference for Europe (ERC)
Side Event: food loss and waste

4–6 May 2016
Antalya, Turkey

Feeding the 5000

10 May 2016
New York, United States
18 May 2016
Washington, D.C., United States

Regional Conference for the Near East
Food Losses and Waste (FLW) work at Regional and National Level

9–13 May 2016
Rome, Italy

The 2016 Food Waste Summit

11 May 2016
Washington, D.C., United States

NEW DATE for the FUSIONS European Platform Meeting

19 May 2016
Brussels, Belgium

First Food for All Ghana conference and launch of #myright2food campaign

26–27 May 2016
Accra, Ghana

The Future of Sustainable Lifestyles, Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy
Workshop on food waste

31 May 2016
Wuppertal, Germany

The Global Green Growth Forum – 3GF Summit

6–7 June 2016
Copenhagen, Denmark

Sustainable Foods Summit

9–10 June 2016
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Food Waste Recovery Workshop

5 July 2016
Vienna, Austria

First Africa-wide Postharvest Food Loss Reduction Conference and Exhibition

28–31 March 2017
Nairobi, Kenya


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