SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

South Africa takes concrete action to prevent and reduce food and drink waste

Source: FAO – UNEP Food Waste Guidance Version 1.0 enable decision makers’ prioritization of actions and identification of potential conflicts or synergies
15 Jun 2015

Johannesburg and Tshwane, South Africa, 2 - 5 June 2015  

From 2 to 5 June 2015 South Africa hosted a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop to gather information for a National Food Waste Prevention and Reduction Programme that will include pilot actions in Johannesburg and Tshwane.

The Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa (the DTI) in collaboration with  the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) presented a possible approach for the Programme and consulted on the way forward with representatives of the public and private sector as well as civil society and academia. Consultations were also supported by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, United Kingdom (WRAP).

Participants represented the DTI, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Affairs, South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Department of Economic Development, the Department of Water and Sanitation, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the City of Johannesburg and the City of Tshwane, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), Tshwane Market, Massmart South Africa, Seda Essential oils, Cygninet, UNEP South Africa, FAO South Africaand World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

On 5 June World Environment Day was celebrated by the City of Tshwane Waste and Environmental Management Services by holding a waste prevention and reduction education and awareness raising event at Olievenhoutbosch Community Hall for members of the local community, children of the Olievenhoutbosch School and local government officials. The initiative aimed to raise public awareness about separation at source of different waste categories and recognize the benefit and value of implementing responsible waste management. The DTI, UNEP, FAO, and WRAP participated and had the privilege of presenting the Think.Eat.Save Campaign and the approach towards a South African National Food Waste Prevention Programme. 

Next steps

A Steering Committee is being convened to lead and enable sustainable food system policymaking towards the South African National Food Waste Prevention Programme, involving various Government Departments, local authorities, private sector, academia and civil society.

Previous to the consultation in South Africa, WRAP and UNEP together with FAO organized a workshop (9 to 13 March 2015) in the UK for a South Africa Team. The UK workshop and the South Africa multi-stakeholder consultation will deliver three reports: (i) South Africa Situation report; (ii) South Africa Stakeholder Analysis report; (iii) Road Map for the prevention and reduction of food waste in South Africa report, with pilot actions foreseen in Tshwane and Johannesburg.


In January 2013 UNEP launched the Think.Eat.Save Campaign (as part of Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (also called SAVE FOOD) and of the FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme). In May 2014 the Prevention and reduction of food and drink waste in businesses and households – Guidance for governments, local authorities, businesses and other organizations Version 1.0 was published.

The Food Waste Guidance V 1.0 was published with a focus on designing effective food waste prevention programmes with governments, local authorities, private companies, institutions and civil society organisations. It also foresees pilot tests for its structure and feasibility in view of providing in-country support and obtaining information for the Guidance’s version 2.0. South Africa is its first pilot.

Further resources