FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Regional vision for sustainable and resilient national food systems builds on success of food loss and waste project

The project “Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Türkiye” concluded with the presentation of national strategies for food loss and waste reduction.



The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), key national stakeholders and partner organizations of the three-year project “Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Türkiye” have come together to conclude the project, take stock of its milestones, and set a vision for more sustainable and resilient national food systems in line with the countries’ commitment to achieve SDG 12.3.

The project provided support to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Türkiye, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan in developing national strategies and action plans for preventing and reducing food loss and waste at the individual, community and national levels. To this end, FAO, in close collaboration with the national governments and food business operators, analysed country-specific context, including existing policy and legislative frameworks, and collected data causes and impacts of food loss and waste in the participating countries. These findings informed the strategies’ formulation, outlining comprehensive programmes for the prevention and reduction of food loss and waste. Specific operational actions proposed in these strategies are being aligned with national priorities and relevant initiatives in the areas of food loss and waste prevention and food and agriculture development more generally.

To prepare the countries for implementation of the strategies, the project aimed to improve the capacities of relevant stakeholders and food value chain actors, including by assessing food loss and waste and good practices to prevent and reduce wastage.

The national campaign “Save Your Food”, launched by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye, has produced notable results in reducing food loss and waste in the country. Specifically, Turkish households saved 664 million Turkish Lira per year by preventing and reducing food waste thanks to better planning of food shopping, meal portioning and reuse of surplus food. In addition, the number of people saving leftovers for later consumption increased from 45 percent to 55 percent. The campaign also helped to improve comprehension of the difference between “expiry” and “best before” dates by 20 percent, resulting in less safe-to-consume food being discarded past its “best before” date. Composting of food waste increased from 3 percent to 6 percent, and the campaign helped to break a Guinness World Record for the “most pledges made for not wasting food”, with 790 000 people taking the pledge on sofranasahipcik.com, in the field of environmental sustainability. The “Save Your Food” campaign is continuing to raise awareness and promote positive actions to reduce food loss and waste and strengthen sustainable practices in Türkiye.

The opening speeches were delivered by Director-General of the EU and Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye Fuat Kasımcan, and Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Türkiye Viorel Gutu.

Fuat Kasimcan stated that they were proud to be the donor of this project and were happy with its results: “Today might be the closure of this specific project but Türkiye and all the other beneficiary countries of this project will and should continue to prevent food loss and waste at all levels of the food chain.” Kasimcan also expressed the Ministry’s desire to share its knowledge and experience with all who wish to tackle this problem and affirmed that the Ministry will continue to cooperate with FAO in addressing the issue.

In his speech, Viorel Gutu noted that the project has contributed to global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). Gutu added, “I believe that the impacts of the project will reach far beyond the project implementation areas.” Gutu also thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for its generous support.

The meeting continued with the experts’ presentations on the project outcomes, and Ministry officials shared information about the results of the national “Save Your Food” campaign.

The results and success stories presented during the closing meeting aim to inspire multidisciplinary and solution-oriented collaborations among national and regional stakeholders, including public sector, private sector, and civil society actors, during the implementation of national action plans.

17 April 2023, Ankara, Türkiye



National Communication Consultant

Save Your Food” Campaign

FAO Sub-regional Office, Ankara, Türkiye




Communications and Partnership Consultant

SAVE YOUR FOOD Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, Budapest, Hungary