SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Messe Düsseldorf and interpack


In May 2011, international experts from politics, business and society came together for the first SAVE FOOD Congress. Food losses was referred to as "one of the most pressing problems of the world community”, by Modibo Traoré, FAO Assistant Director-General for Agriculture and Consumer Protection.

Prominent speakers such as Prof. Klaus Töpfer, the Federal Consumer Protection Minister of Germany, Ilse Aigner, as well as experts from international corporations like Nestlé, Metro and Bosch presented their positions and solutions.

In preparation for the first SAVE FOOD congress, FAO conducted two new studies, which quantified the problem of food losses and waste by regions and analyzed the underlying causes. Both studies highlighted that investment in better packaging is required to support the local agro-industry to process and protect foods and thus contribute to sustainable development.

Over 2,000 media reports spread the word about the initiative from experts participating at the event to consumers - ready to commit their resources and expertise to promote SAVE FOOD.

Since then, SAVE FOOD has developed into a brand that stands for the fight against global food losses and waste.

With 50 international trade fairs in Düsseldorf, 23 of them No. 1 worldwide, and over 120 events and participations abroad, the Messe Düsseldorf Group is one of the leading export platforms worldwide. Distinctively, “Interpack” is the world's most important trade fair for the packaging industry and related process industries.

As an internationally operating trade fair group, we are participants in a globalized world. That sharpens our awareness that globalized trading does not always permit all of the players involved to achieve their fair share in the value chain. By way of SAVE FOOD, our aim is to actively assume responsibility and – quite apart from any business cases – use our core expertise as trade fair organizers for the common good. The central issue here is that the sheer amount of crops that spoil on farms or food that we throw away would be enough to feed those people who presently go hungry. In both of these scenarios, packaging can help. And that is something we, as official organizers of interpack, know all about. This prompted the idea of joining forces with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to use our capacity and contacts to contribute to the fight against global food losses.