Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Member profile

Dr. Silvia Gaiani

Organization: FAO
Country: Italy
Field(s) of expertise:
I am working on:

Food Loss and Waste

Silvia Gaiani is a Food Loss and Waste Policy specialist working at FAO, SP4. She holds a master degree in International Relations and two Phds, one in International Cooperation and Policies for Sustainable Development and one in Food Policies from the University of Bologna, Italy.

She has previously been a Research Fellow at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna (Italy) and as a consultant at WMO, the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations.

Facilitator of

This member contributed to:

    • Thank you very much to everyone who contributed to the e-consultation regarding the development of the CoC on FLW prevention and reduction.

      All the comments you provided represent valuable inputs and will be highly kept into consideration.

    • María Fernanda Jiménez Morales

      Thank you very much for your contribution. The CoC will definitely not be a binding instrument, but it will simply provide guidance and practical hints for FLW prevention, reduction and management. The aim is to provide a useful tool for governments and food supply chain actors. We will try to provide not only standardized solutions, but also solutions which could be adapted locally.

      Food recovery and responsible management of products that are still edible will be included in the CoC.  The empowerment of nations in the subject is something important to contemplate, in order to generate solutions that are adjustable to the realities of each area. , and are not dependent on standardized solutions,

      @ Cindy Hidalgo Víquez

      Thank you for your contribution. Portions and nutritional aspects do play an important role that should be kept into consideration when referring to food waste.

    • Laura Brenes-Peralta

      Dear Laura, Many thanks for your additional contribution. The CoC will use a multidisciplinary approach to FLW and will therefore focus on a multi-stakeholder way through prevention, assertive communication and commitment.

      We agree that alliances are fundamental to address FLW and that the CoC should include best practices and practical cases and support Member Countries in developing road-maps to reduce, prevent and manage FLW. Thank you for mentioning the interesting case of Costa Rica and of the  Costa Rican FLW Network. We would be glad if you could share experiences with us.

      Brighton Mvumi

      Thank you for your contribution and for mentioning organic fertilisers and livestock feed.

      All the aspects you refer to (institutional arrangement and policies, innovations, standardisation of procedures, information and experience sharing mechanisms, etc…) will be kept in high consideration.

    • Angela Frigo

      Thank you very much for your contribution.

      Yes, the idea is to distinguish between food loss and waste and provide examples for FLW prevention and reduction at each step of the food supply chain.

      Thank you for mentioning the current ongoing initiative at EU level and especially the EU Platform on Food Losses and Waste coordinated by the DG Health and Food Safety, which is drafting key recommendations for future actions to prevent food losses and waste.

      Food redistribution will be considered as an activity which takes place within and along the food supply chain. As long as food is edible and safe it should be directed to human consumption.

    • @ Raquel Diaz

      We are grateful to receive a very detailed contribution by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The causes of FLW are central in order to understand the FLW phenomenon and will therefore be included in the CoC.  We will separate food waste at consumers’ level and at catering level as he causes and solutions are different. We will also differentiate between industrial uses and animal feed. Your suggestion to include a section on “Development of the CoC” (for Public Administration) is well received and will be kept in high consideration.

      @ Dieudonné OUEDRAOGO

      Thank you for your very interesting contribution. FLW management will be included in the CoC, although the main focus of the document will be on prevention and reduction and will follow a food waste hierarchy to prioritize actions with regards to FLW.

      Thanks for mentioning specific and relevant principles (such as evaluation of national situation, elaboration of strategies, importance of technologies and education) which will be highly kept into consideration when formulating the CoC.

    • @ Felicitas Schneider

      Thank you for providing you interesting inputs! FLW prevention at source will be highlighted as the most preferable option, although as you mention it will not be possible to reduce FLW to zero. Thanks for raising the point to not rank composting and anaerobic digestion against each other – as you write, the most appropriate process for a specific situation/region depends e.g. on the characteristics of the FLW stream and the available infrastructure. Data availability and reliability remain central to reduce FLW.

      @ A C Baker

      Thank you for mentioning important topics such as farming animals, food security and sovereignty and the power to make better food choices, with less waste in the household. We agree that empowering small food producers might be one fo the key aspects in reducing food losses.

    • @ Patrick Mink

      We are grateful to receive a very detailed contribution by theS wiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) to the CoC. We agree that the CoC should be designed as a tool to support countries and other stakeholders to achieve SDG 12.3 and that the guiding principles should be based on and in line with previous work undertaken by FAO, UNEP and other relevant actors, including the guidance on Prevention and reduction of food and drink waste in businesses and) and the HLPE report Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems. It will also align with the 2030 Agenda; the United Nation’s 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP); the UNEA-4 resolution “Promoting sustainable practices and innovative solutions for curbing food loss and waste”; and the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition that are currently being developed. The CoC should represent a practical and comprehensive guidance to prevent, reduce and manage FLW across the food supply chain.

    • @ Nicola Pisano

      Thank you for your contribution and for the CoC endorsement by the European Fresh Produce Association.

      We agree that terminology is important in avoiding misinterpretation of the concepts of food loss and waste of the CoC, and that data collection and monitoring systems are vital to understand how data are collected and analyzed.

      Thank you also for mentioning the  (2019) UNECE ‘Code of Good Practice for reducing losses in fruit and vegetable trade’, which recommends measures to be taken across the whole fruit and vegetable supply chain for the reduction of food loss and waste.

    • @ Jessica Sinclair Taylor

      Thank you for your very detailed contribution.

      What Feedback recommends will be definitely kept into consideration for the development of the CoC on FLW reduction and prevention.

      Specifically, we will stress how the different sectors of the supply chain affect each other (and we will therefore highlight which prevention and reduction measures can be implemented by all actors of the supply chain).

      We agree that nation states should set targets to reduce food waste by 50% from farm to fork by 2030 – following SDG 12.3-  and FAO and other UN agencies are working on sound measurement methodologies.

      Thank you also for providing interesting examples of policies and best practices and for having included a relevant  bibliography.

    • Lisa Johnson

      Thank you very much for your contribution and for pointing out the relationship among food waste, the efficiency of food system and food emergency systems. We will let you know how the CoC develops!

      @ Mariola Kwasek

      Thank you very much for your comprehensive contribution. All the aspects you mention (i.e. support for initiatives of cooperation between different stakeholders, food redistribution, fiscal incentives, etc..) are all fundamental to reduce food waste and will be included in the CoC.

      Thank you also for providing information about the Federation of Polish Food Banks and the Act of July 19, 2019 which looks like a very important step to reduce and prevent food waste at distribution/retailers’ level.

      Susan Kevork

      Thank you for illustrating what Nestlè does to reduce food loss and waste. Very interesting initiatives!

    • Maria J.I. Briones

      Thank you very much for your contribution. Retailers play an important role in food waste reduction and all the points you mention (food preservation, marketing strategies, food redistribution and separate collection) are relevant and will be mentioned in the CoC.

      Patricia Mathabe

      Thank you for your input which highlights the importance of innovation and technologies for food loss and waste prevention and reduction!

      Murillo Freire Junior

      Thank you so much! Our aim is to develop a practical and useful CoC for FLW reduction and prevention which, if adopted by States and by food chain actors, will have positive and direct outcomes in the next coming years.

    • @ Teale Yalch

      Thank you for your contribution.

      The involvement of the private sector is definitely important in the fight against FLW.

      Standards and methodologies for FLW measurements are fundamental: FAO has been developing a Food Loss Index while UNEP is at the moment working to establish a methodology to measure food waste.

      We agree that the focus should be on the most perishable nutritious foods (fruits and vegetables, animal source proteins, etc). All the cross cutting themes you mention will be kept into consideration.

    • Moussa Na Abou Mamouda

      Thank you very much for your contribution. Yes, the CoC should attract attention and at the same time suggest valuable, useful and practical guidelines.

      The process to develop the CoC will be a mix of bottom up and top down approaches, as governments, policy makers and different institutions should be included in its establishment. The aim is to provide global guidelines that could be adapted to local contexts as well – therefore when possible keeping local culture and economic/political conditions into account.

      Guidelines will be suggested for each step of the food supply chain. We are also planning to launch regional meetings and webinars to involve as many actors as possible and receive feedbacks and contributions.

      Thank you for providing a very practical and useful example from Niger!

    • @ Lisa Kitinoja

      Thank you for your contribution! FLW reduction and prevention do imply costs for countries and stakeholders along the food supply chain and we agree that a costs/benefits analysis should be carried out before deciding which measures should be implemented.

      In theory, actors in the food supply chain should take rational decisions regarding the level of food loss and waste they can tolerate.

      @ Christian Ciza

      Thank you for your contribution! Yes, consumers’ awareness on FLW should be raised and concrete tips on how to reduce food waste should be provided. Domestic animal feed could also be taken into consideration, but in developed countries only an extremely limited number of households may have chickens and porks to feed.

    • Zoltan Kalman

      Thank you for your contribution!

      Yes, we intend to mention the major drivers of FLW and definitely the price of food is central for the generation of food waste at consumers’ level. Food is available and often very cheap and this leads to a de-valuation of food and to many important questions regarding its nutrients. FLW have indeed economic, environmental, social, nutritional and moral implications.

      We agree that when, analyzing FLW, we should use a food system approach that takes into consideration technical and economic feasibility, food quality and safety requirements, social acceptability and environmental sustainability.

    • @ Fidelis Eyoh Ukume

      Thank you very much for your contribution. Yes, we are going to include best practices promoted by countries to reduce FLW, so any contributions provided by this e-consultation in this sense is more than welcome.  Redistribution of safe and nutritious food among countries is an option, but economic and environmental sustainability should be also taken into account when implementing such an action. The most preferable option would be to redistribute food without involving long and extensive transportation (that also requires energy consuming cold chains to keep the food safe and air mileages).

      @ Selina Juul

      Dear Selina, we will definitely keep your comment into consideration. Prevention is in general the best preferred option and we agree that it should happen before reduction.

      The topic of FLW is in general a very complex issue which touches upon production and distribution mechanisms, but also has implications on food safety, food quality, food preservation, etc…

      We agree with you that the root causes of FLW should be identified and addressed and that food donation and redistribution poses a number of questions regarding the structure of the food system in general.

    • @Adil Daniel

      Thank you very much for your contribution. Logistics is a central issue in reducing food loss and waste, as well as raising awareness. As you mention, the fight against food loss and waste should involve everyone along the food supply chain.

      @Roderick Valones

      There are definitely a number of challenges in developing, launching and implementing a code of conduct for food loss and waste reduction.

      We are aware it is not an easy task but we will do our best to develop it step by step and by creating global consensus around it.

    • @ Mhammad Asef Ghyasi

      Thank you for your contribution. Yes, food recovery and redistribution is important to reduce food loss and waste. When possible, food that is still edible and safe should be used for human consumption. Overweight and obesity are indeed critical issues not only with reference to food loss and waste but to the entire food system.

    • @ Aliyu Idris Muhammad

      Thank you very much. Processing and handling of food are indeed central with regards to food loss reduction. Drying and size reduction can be good strategies to preserve food.

      Cephas Taruvinga

      Thank for your insight! We can consider to refer to the role of service providers in the CoC. The provision of information and appropriate pesticides, equipment and tools  to producers/farmers is of great importance.

    • @ Dick Tinsley

      Thank you very much for your inputs to the discussion. The Code of Conduct should definitely suggest actions and practices that have to be financially viable and operationally feasible (and also adaptable to different contexts). Thank you also for all the webpages you have sent: they are interesting food for thought and provide an added value to the consultation.

      @ Md. Kamrul Islam

      Thank you very much for mentioning food production systems. they are of utmost importance when we speak about food losses. Prevention and reduction policies should in fact start at the source.

    • @ Hamza Aliodjibril.

      Thank you very much for your contribution. Climate change is definitely a very important topic in relation to FLW. It could be considered and mentioned in the cross-cutting issues of the CoC as it has a number of repercussions, mostly at primary production level – (but also as you mention storage and preservation can be influenced by climate change).

      Consumers’ education and the mobilization of consumers’ associations are of utmost importance to prevent and reduce food waste. The CoC aims at sensitizing and involving them as actors of change.

      @ Hugo Alfonso Muñoz Ureña

      Thank you for your contribution and the article you suggest. The aim of the CoC is to serve as an instrument of reference to help Member Countries establish or improve their legal and institutional frameworks on FLW prevention, reduction and management; it will establish guidelines and provide examples of good conduct with reference to FLW, but will not have a coercive nature.

      Saying that food waste can represent a form of Abuse of Law is a very extreme position: especially when referring to consumers and the ethical issues connected to food waste, consumers should be sensitized to the topic (and also be asked by governments to pay taxes based on the amount of waste they generate), but can t be persecuted for generating food waste (freedom of choice should be anyway preserved).

      I agree that legislation and the food safety risks connected to food waste generation should be kept into high consideration.

    • @ Mahesh Chander

      Thank you for mentioning animal feed as an important aspect in the fight against FLW. Animal feed is indeed included in the CoC as a possible option after prevention, reduction and redistribution of food for human consumption. Animal feed represent a good way to repurpose food no longer edible or no longer of good nutritious quality for humans.

    • @ Vethaiya BALASUBRAMANIAN

      Thank you for your interesting contribution and the list of FLW determinants.

      Among the examples you cite, the price of food can play a very important role in determining the amount of food waste at consumers’ level. The example you cite from Tamil Nadu is siginificative.

      FLW is indeed a complex issue that depends on a number of causes ranging from biological, microbial, chemical, biochemical, mechanical, physical, physiological, technological, logistical, organizational, psychological and behavioural ones – including those induced by marketing, etc. The importance of these factors vary greatly according to the produce and the context, and the stage of the food chain considered (see for example the HLPE report for reference). Aim of the Code of Conduct is to provide a benchmark and framework against which countries can develop strategies, policies, institutions, legislation and programmes and to provide a set of global, locally adaptable voluntary practices that different stakeholders directly or indirectly involved with FLW might adopt.

      @ JC Wandemberg

      Thank you for your contribution! As you mention, the involvement of all actors in the fight against FLW is pivotal and market-based instruments like taxes can be among the effective instruments to reduce FLW.