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Latin America and the Caribbean to create a regional alliance to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030

11 Nov 2015

The alliance is aligned with the Hunger Eradication Plan of CELAC 2025 and the new Sustainable Development Goals.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, food loss and waste per capita amounts to roughly 223 kg per year, a figure that countries want to halve by 2030 through a new Regional Alliance for Food Loss and Waste Reduction.

Held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in the heart of the Caribbean, representatives from 10 countries attended the regional dialogue on food loss and waste reduction. Participants included government representatives, agri-food experts and other stakeholders in the food system.

Participants agreed on a strategy to reduce food loss and waste and, importantly, to create a regional alliance in line with the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States’(CELAC) Plan for food and nutrition security and the eradication on hunger.

"The food being wasted at the retail level could meet the food needs of all people currently suffering from hunger in our region," said Raul Benitez, Regional Representative of FAO.

Reducing food loss and waste is one of the key actions of the CELAC plan for hunger eradication, the main regional agreement to achieve zero hunger by 2025.

"Eradicating hunger requires that we eliminate food waste in the transition towards a future where food systems are sustainable, inclusive and efficient," Benitez said.

The SDGs adopted by the international community will expand and build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and have included a specific target on food loss and waste reduction.

Common goals for the region

During the regional dialogue, a series of immediate actions were agreed. These include involving public, private and civil society actors in shaping national and local committees. These stakeholders will act as facilitators in strategic programmes aimed at reducing food loss and waste per capita by 50% by 2030.

Currently, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic have already established committees and similar processes have been initiated in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Uruguay.

Additionally, countries are encouraged to establish baselines in order to measure the current status and progress towards the reduction of food loss and waste, both nationally and regionally.

Support for knowledge dissemination, methodologies and innovation among countries was also agreed during the regional dialogue, during which the importance of FAO’s support to the development of an international code of conduct to reduce losses and food waste was noted.

Finally, the participants expressed their commitment to promote the institutionalization of this issue in national policies, through laws, rules, regulations and programmes.

During the closing ceremony, FAO reiterated their commitment to reducing food loss and waste through enabling partnerships and collaboration among countries in the region. This, FAO noted, would contribute towards the identification of needs, the promotion of the progress currently achieved and ultimately, the harmonization of regional and global efforts.