SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Azerbaijan sets strategic priorities for food loss and waste reduction

17 May 2022

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan, government officials, major private sector actors, representatives of civil society organizations and academia gathered today to endorse a strategy on food loss and waste (FLW) prevention and reduction in the country.

FAO organized a full-day consultation workshop to present the findings and conclusions of its in-depth analysis of FLW in Azerbaijan to key national stakeholders, and to put forward a draft national Strategy on Food Loss and Waste Prevention, Reduction and Monitoring in Azerbaijan for discussion and validation.

The workshop concluded the strategy formulation process, which started with an assessment by FAO of the country-specific context in regard to food loss and waste, including its causes and impacts and existing policy and legislative frameworks affecting FLW management in Azerbaijan. The strategy will be finalized in line with views and recommendations received from workshop participants and approved for further implementation.

Implementation of the strategy will contribute to improvement of national food system efficiency in Azerbaijan”, explained Melek Cakmak, FAO Representative in Azerbaijan, “which in turn will ensure better food and nutrition security and benefit small and medium-size producers through enhanced income and livelihoods.” She continued: “In the longer term, the strategy will help reduce the national contribution to climate change and mitigate pressure on the national food system for increased production due to population and income growth, urbanization, and changing consumption preferences and patterns.

The workshop was opened by Leyla Mammadova, Deputy Chairperson of the Agency for Agro Credit and Development of the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan, who elaborated on the strategy’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “In keeping with the government’s commitment to achieve Target 12.3 of the SDGs, the strategy will support and empower all involved stakeholders to step up their efforts and act decisively to reduce food loss and waste in the country”, she explained. 

The approach proposed by Azerbaijan’s strategy aims to reduce FLW by focusing on all stages of the food supply chain: production, processing, distribution and consumption cycle. The strategy also supports a shift towards a circular value chain, enabling resources invested in food production to be secured and optimized. 

In addition, the strategy includes measures to improve regulation of FLW management, enhance the efficiency of food supply chains, build a national food recovery and redistribution system, raise awareness among food value chain actors and the public to stem the problem, and strengthen national capacities to monitor, measure and report on FLW.

The national workshop was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan as part of the FAO project “Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Turkey”, implemented under the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP II) funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey.

The project assists Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in developing and implementing national strategies and action plans to reduce food loss and waste.