SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey establish joint Food Loss and Waste Strategy Committee

25 Nov 2020

Ankara, Turkey – FAO and the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry convened a meeting of high-level officials from Central Asia to establish a joint Food Loss and Waste Strategy Committee mandated to oversee the development and implementation of the regional food loss and waste reduction programme.

The newly launched body will also support and monitor the implementation of food loss and waste reduction and management activities at country level and facilitate the engagement of other partners. Thus, it will serve as a platform for cooperation and information and knowledge sharing for the participating countries.

The Committee is part of an FAO project representing a wider effort for the reduction of food loss and waste in the Central Asian countries that includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and is implemented within the framework of the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme for Agriculture.

As the project aims to assist recipient countries in formulating food loss and waste reduction strategies and action plans, the new Committee – an inter-governmental body – will channel national experience into the regional approach and help align food loss and waste reduction strategies within local contexts and needs. To this end, the Committee will bring in the national perspective, including related state policies and legislation, as well as domestic targets.

“The Committee, comprising governmental representatives, is an important instrument for recognizing the issue of food loss and waste reduction, as well as coordinating the efforts between participating countries” said in his opening remarks Viorel Gutu, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey.

Ahmet Volkan Gungoren, Deputy General Director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, expressed his strong belief in the Committee to become “one of the most important instruments to facilitate and drive action on food loss and waste reduction. By working together, and with FAO’s support and guidance, we would be able to develop an exemplary future-proof model of tackling this issue for the whole region.”

Save your food!

Turkey has been actively fighting food waste and supporting other countries in this. In May FAO and Turkey launched a joint national media campaign called “Save Your Food” to raise public awareness and understanding of the issue and promote good practices to prevent and reduce food loss and waste among all actors in food supply chain.

The campaign released Turkey’s first National Strategy and Action Plan on the Prevention and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste, developed by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, including the reviews and recommendations of over 100 related actors. The Action Plan includes 95 concrete measures, including legal and policy, technical, education and communication measures, addressing the issue at each stage of the food value chain. Now, the establishment of the Food Loss and Waste Strategy Committee is expected to advance the Strategy’s implementation.

“Save Your Food” invited public and private partners to provide their support in addressing the actions stated in the plan. Given that one-third of the identified actions fall under the responsibilities of local authorities, FAO held a series of meetings with the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, and Ankara and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipalities to expand collaboration with this sector. Aiming to reach out to the food sector, FAO also works closely with the Federation of Food and Drink Industry Associations of Turkey. FAO continues to bring together interested partners ranging from private sector to non-governmental organizations to prevent and reduce food loss and waste.