Clock Ticking on Food Waste

By Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco and Chair of Champions 12.3

This post originally appeared on Huffington Post on September 20. 

This week, leaders from around the world will gather in New York for the UN General Assembly. Climate change, conflict, and poverty will all crowd the agenda. But one issue on many people’s radar is food waste. It might not grab the headlines, but the need to tackle it is urgent and compelling.

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RELEASE: Michael La Cour and Selina Juul Join Champions 12.3, Coalition to Reduce Food Loss and Waste

For Immediate Release: July 12, 2017
Contact: Jillian Holzer, World Resources Institute, jholzer@wri.org, +1 202-729-7754

WASHINGTON (July 12, 2017) Adding to its powerhouse ranks, Champions 12.3 – the coalition of nearly 40 CEOs, ministers and other leaders committed to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Target 12.3 on food loss and waste – announces new members Michael La Cour and Selina Juul.

Worldwide more than 1 billion tons of food each year is never consumed, while one in nine people remain undernourished. Food loss and waste amounts to economic losses of $940 billion per year and is responsible for an estimated 8 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions; if it were a country, food loss and waste would be the third largest emitter after China and the United States.

“I am really pleased that Michael and Selina are joining the Champions 12.3. A key focus of our work as Champions this year is to help drive action in reducing food waste across the whole food chain – in particular, upstream in the catering industry and in peoples’ homes. The expertise that Michael and Selina bring to the group will greatly strengthen the work we’re doing in these areas and support our efforts to meet the UN’s Target 12.3,” said Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco and Chair of Champions 12.3.

Continue reading RELEASE: Michael La Cour and Selina Juul Join Champions 12.3, Coalition to Reduce Food Loss and Waste

Welcome Michael La Cour to Champions 12.3

We’re delighted to announce that Michael La Cour, MD IKEA Food Services AB, has joined Champions 12.3 as a Champion.

Driven by the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, Michael La Cour has been leading the development of IKEA Food Services AB for the past years with focus on health and sustainability. The main objectives of this transformation is to move IKEA Food towards a wider offer of delicious, healthy and more sustainable food, easily available and affordable for the many.

Michael has experience from the food retail business prior to joining IKEA, where he has now been working for the past two decades. He started out as a Country Manager at IKEA Indonesia to become a Deputy trading area manager for IKEA in South East Asia. He has been an IKEA Store Manager in the USA and a Business Manager for one of the Business Areas at IKEA of Sweden.

Along with Michael’s decision to join Champions 12.3 as a Champion, IKEA announced today their goal of halving their food waste by the end of their August 2020. See the IKEA Press Release for details.

Food waste: how governments, financiers and consumers can play their part

This op-ed first appeared in Thomson Reuters on March 23. 

A recent report from the Champions 12.3 coalition underscores the fact that the global community is capable of tackling the long-running issue of food loss and wastage if all players in the food ‘supply chain’ take action. The challenges are well defined, the incentives are many. But are we doing what is necessary?

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Tackling food waste: Something politicians can agree on

This op-ed first appeared in The Hill on March 10. 

By Liz Goodwin

From my vantage point in a village in the English countryside, party politics in America are certainly eye-catching. The question for any leader looking to break a stalemate is, what areas of common ground can be found? To my mind, there’s a really clear option.

One would hardly call politics in the United Kingdom tame, and yet one area where our government has found agreement and seen real results is reducing food waste. Nearly 10 years ago, few people in the UK (or elsewhere for that matter) were focusing on food waste as a critical social, economic or environmental issue. Myself and my colleagues at the nonprofit organization WRAP recognized that the amount of food households, restaurants, grocers and others were throwing out was probably sizeable. So, in 2007 we began measuring what edible food was being needlessly thrown away. 

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Curbing food waste saves money, as well as the planet

BY DAVE LEWIS, CHAIRMAN OF CHAMPIONS 12.3 AND GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF TESCO. THIS ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE TELEGRAPH ON MARCH 6.

Imagine a land mass greater than China. Now imagine that land is only used to produce food. Then suppose all the crops and produce from those 2.5bn acres are not eaten. Imagine all of that – and you have grasped the amount of food the world wastes every year.

Every year a third of the world’s food is wasted. In terms of weight, it adds up to around 1.3bn tonnes. In the UK alone, we waste over 10m tonnes of food in a year.

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RELEASE: New Research Finds Companies Saved $14 for Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste

Contact: Jillian Holzer, World Resources Institute, jholzer@wri.org, +1 202-729-7754
Contact: Kim van Seeters, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Directorate General Agriculture and Nature, The Netherlands, k.vanseeters@minez.nl

RELEASE: New Research Finds Companies Saved $14 for Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste  

Report from Champions 12.3 shows that companies, consumers and governments can save billions of dollars and millions of tons of food by acting to cut food loss and waste

WASHINGTON (March 6, 2017)–One-third of all food produced in the world is never eaten, which has tremendous economic, social and environmental consequences. New research on behalf of Champions 12.3 finds that for every $1 companies invested to reduce food loss and waste, they saved $14 in operating costs. The report finds that household savings could be much greater.

In a first-of-its kind analysis, The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste evaluated financial cost and benefit data for 1,200 sites across 700 companies in 17 countries, finding that nearly every site realized a positive return on its investment to reduce food waste. The types of investments companies made include: quantifying and monitoring food loss and waste, training staff on practices to reduce waste, changing food storage and handling processes, changing packaging to extend shelf-life, changing date labels, and other staff and technology investments.

Continue reading RELEASE: New Research Finds Companies Saved $14 for Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste

Dutch Taskforce Connects Initiatives Against Food Waste

This post originally appeared on the website for Wageningen University & Research. Several Champions are part of the taskforce, including Feike Sijbesma (Royal DSM), Hans Hoogeveen (FAO),  and Louise Fresco (WUR). 

The Taskforce Circular Economy in Food, launched today during the National Food Summit in the Netherlands, aims to prevent and reduce food waste and become an international frontrunner in the valorisation of agrifood residual streams. The Taskforce, an initiative by Wageningen University & Research, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Sustainable Food Alliance, connects initiatives against food waste. It is leading the transition towards acceleration and the development of a circular economy. The Taskforce is currently composed of 25 members from the entire food supply chain, from SMEs to food multinationals, and supplemented with members from public and societal organisations.

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Tesco leads the way with food surplus donations from stores

This news release first appeared online here. Tesco Group’s CEO, Dave Lewis, is Chair of Champions 12.3. 

Tesco has revealed its food surplus redistribution initiative, Community Food Connection, has so far helped serve five million meals to more than 3,300 community groups and charities since its launch less than a year ago.

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