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SAVE FOOD Congress 2017: Multi-dimensional Approach to Fighting Food Losses and Waste

04 May 2017

For its 3rd edition the SAVE FOOD Congress held on 4 May 2017 at Congress Center Süd of the Düsseldorf exhibition centre as part of interpack 2017 will pursue a multi-dimensional approach for fighting food losses and waste. The speakers from political circles, the food and packaging industries, retail, research and civil society represent a global but also detailed perspective focusing on details and national conditions. The congress again provides participants with a forum for mutual exchange as well as for identifying and sharing Best Practices. In its sixth year, this Initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and Messe Düsseldorf has more than 850 members from industry, associations, research institutes and NGOs.

The opening speeches for the one-day Congress will be presented by Kostas G. Stamoulis, Deputy Director General of the Economic and Social Development Department of the FAO and Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. In his talk he will deal with the challenges of global nutrition in the 21st century. After that, he and Dornscheidt will sign a Memorandum of Understanding about the further collaboration of FAO and Messe Düsseldorf as key partners of the SAVE FOOD Initiative.

Dr. Klaus Heider, Head of the “Nutrition Policy, Product Safety, Innovation” Department in the German Ministry for Nutrition and Agriculture, will then present the campaign “Too Good for the Bin”. The Keynote speech of the conference will be given by Vytenis Andriukaitis, as EU commissioner responsible for food security in Europe.

After that, the focus will be on the Indian subcontinent. Smt. Gargi Kaul, Joint Secretary & Financial Adviser in the Indian Ministry of Food Processing Industries will speak about chances for this branch in her country. In the following conference session that will address specific local conditions, Robert van Otterdijk, Agro- Industry Officer in the Nutrition and Food Systems Division at the FAO will share the results of a field study in India funded by the SAVE FOOD Initiative. This will shed some light on the mechanisms and root causes of the loss of specific basic foodstuffs on the Asian subcontinent. Marc Zander, CEO of africon GmbH and Tei Mukunya, CEO of Azuri Health Ltd. will report on the state of affairs in the mango project launched by the SAVE FOOD Initiative in Kenya. Christian Traumann, Managing Director and CFO at MULTIVAC will then look at the role that innovative packaging concepts play in avoiding food losses across the supply chain and on the part of consumers.

In the second session of the Congress, the speakers will look beyond their own backyards and deal with food waste and losses in the context of global issues of the future as well as of industry and retail. Dr. Prajal Pradhan from the Research Area Climate Impact and Vulnerability at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research will highlight the effects food waste and losses with respect to global climate. Vinita Bali, Chairman of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition will talk about global future issues and Dr. Gerald Rebitzer, Sustainability Director at Amcor Flexibles will present the special involvement of his company. Dr. Johannes Bergmair of the World Packaging Organisation will describe the correlation between packaging design and SAVE FOOD.

Another focal theme of the SAVE FOOD Congress is the presentation of the SAVE FOOD School Awards to the winning projects. Regional Schools were called upon in the run-up to the event to give some thought to the theme of SAVE FOOD and work out corresponding concepts. Shortlisted projects will also be presented. A total of 39 projects were submitted. The Awards will be presented by Burkhard Hintzsche, City Director of Düsseldorf and Werner M.Dornscheidt. Following this, the FAO will present its concept for optimising school cafeterias.

In the “Hands On” session the Congress will focus on concrete, practical solutions. The companies delivering talks here include Tomato Jos, which supports local farmers in Nigeria, YourLocal, an App against food waste as well as the commitment of Foodsharing e.V. This  session will close with a lecture by Dr. Hélen Williams from the University of Karlstad, who will introduce results from scientific studies on packaging and SAVE FOOD themes.

The Congress concludes with a summary discussion involving actors from political and business spheres and civil society. Participants include Arash Derambarsh, Councillor in the Paris suburb of Courbevoie/France, Hélène Lanctuit, Nestlé Research Center, Selina Juul, founder of the Stop Wasting Food Movement from Denmark, James Lomax, Sustainable Food Systems and Agriculture Programme Office at UNEP and Thomas Pocher, E.Leclerc Branch Director in France.

For the entire duration of interpack from 4 to 10 May trade fair visitors will be able to find out about concrete solutions and approaches revolving around SAVE FOOD at the innovationparc. Some 20 companies will be exhibiting there on approximately 2,500 square metres in a high-quality marquee between Halls 2 and 3. A lecture forum complements the exhibitors’ ranges over all days of the exhibition. This is also where the presentation of the SAVE FOOD School Award will take place on 4 May.

SAVE FOOD at interpack 2017 – key data

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