Speech by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis at the Launch Meeting of the “EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are days in the life of people and societies which mark a turning point, between a “before” and an “after”; I am convinced that when it comes to that absurd unethical and anti-economic situation which we call ‘food waste’ this is one of those days.

I am therefore delighted to be here with you today to inaugurate the very first meeting of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste.

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2030 Champions Brings Together Business and Government to Cut US Food Waste

By Craig Hanson, Global Director for Food, Forests and Water at WRI

Food loss and waste is one of those challenges that is just as local as it is global. Every corner of the earth wastes food, and every nation feels the effects of a warming planet, in part caused by methane released from  the 1.3 billion tons of food that go uneaten every year  And yet, the specifics of food loss and waste vary by country—and to be effective, the solutions have to be local.

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Choose or Lose: Why Gisele and I Are Shifting to a Sustainable Diet

By Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute

This post first appeared on Huffington Post. 

In just a few short years, growing and eating sustainable food has moved from a fringe idea into the mainstream. With a major boost from First Lady Michelle Obama’s garden, nutritionists, community non-profits, environmentalists, and food producers and suppliers have rallied around this idea. During the Obama administration, the U.S. government embraced sustainable food, including setting a target to halve food waste by 2030. Although we don’t yet know what the next administration will do, food choices largely rest with individuals, families, businesses and city leaders.

Embracing a sustainable food system can bring a host of benefits, including getting more food to those who need it, while lowering household bills and lowering emissions that drive climate change.

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Community Food Connection Wins Industry Award

This article is re-posted from Tesco’s website. 

We are pleased to share the news that last night, Tesco’s food surplus redistribution scheme, Community Food Connection with FareShare FoodCloud, won the ‘Sustainable Futures’ award at the prestigious 2016 IGD Awards.

These annual awards celebrate the latest commitments and innovations in the food and grocery industry. This award recognises the hard work our teams have done together in rolling out this scheme to Tesco stores, to tackle food waste and food poverty in the UK.

The scheme is delivered in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare and social enterprise FoodCloud and is currently live in over 800 Tesco stores. The scheme has donated over 1.4 million meals worth of surplus food to people in need to date, and over 3,000 local charities and community groups have signed up. These include homeless shelters, substance abuse rehabilitation services, after school clubs, foodbanks and many more. It is hoped that through this scheme people in need right across the UK will benefit from both our surplus food and the much-needed support and advice of these vital charities.

At Tesco we are committed that no good food will go to waste in our stores by the end of 2017. Community Food Connection is one of the ways we will make this a reality. A big thank you to everyone who has made this possible.

Tesco was the first retailer to publish its food waste data and to invest in and roll out FareShare FoodCloud to its stores. For more information on how we are reducing food waste from farm to fork, click here.



Latin American Cities Must Tackle Food Waste

This op-ed appeared in Spanish on October 14 in esglobal. Read Las ciudades de América Latina deben luchar contra el desperdicio de comida here. 

By Yolanda Kakabadse

Imagine tossing your entire lunch in the trash bin every day. It sounds absurd, but it’s not so far-fetched. Around one-third of all food the world produces is never eaten – either lost in production or wasted by retailers and everyday consumers – even as 800 million people struggle to have enough to eat. The FAO reports that the food lost or wasted in Latin America alone could feed an estimated 300 million people.

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By Measuring Food Waste, We Can Manage It

This op-ed was published October 14 on Thomson Reuters. 

October 16 is World Food Day, a day dedicated to ensuring that everyone on the planet has enough safe, nutritious food to eat. But one way to achieve this noble goal is actually quite straightforward: Reduce the massive amounts of food loss and waste.

The next time you sit down to a meal, consider that an astounding one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted from farm to fork. In fact, a recent study found that 88 million tonnes of food was wasted in the EU-28 alone in 2012, with household food waste accounting for more than half that number.

Often overlooked, food loss and waste is a formidable global problem. It hampers efforts to feed the world. While nearly 800 million people—one in nine globally—are undernourished, over a billion tons of food never make it to a fork. It affects national and household economics.

Food loss and waste accounts for $940 billion per year in economic losses globally. In sub-Saharan Africa, where many farmers earn less than $2 a day, post-harvest losses amount to $4 billion per year. In some European countries, food waste at home and in restaurants costs more than a thousand Euro per year per household.

It also affects the environment. Food that is ultimately lost or wasted consumes about a quarter of all water used by agriculture, requires cropland area the size of China and is responsible for an estimated 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Just think, if food loss and waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter—surpassed only by China and the United States.

Cutting food loss and waste down to size thus offers a rare triple win for food security, the economy and the environment. But what can be done? It starts with 1, 2, 3.

A first step is for countries and companies to set food loss and waste reduction targets. Targets drive ambition and ambition motivates action. In September 2015, nations of the world agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals, each with a number of targets.

Among them is Target 12.3, which calls for cutting in half per capita global food waste at retail and consumer levels and for reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030. We are all part of a coalition of leaders, called Champions 12.3, dedicated to mobilizing action, inspiring ambition and accelerating progress toward meeting this target.

The private sector is taking steps to lead the way. The Consumer Goods Forum, which represents more than 400 of the world’s largest retailers, manufacturers, and service providers, has resolved to reduce food waste from member operations by 50 percent by 2025, five years earlier than Target 12.3.

A second step is for countries and companies to measure their food loss and waste. We’ve all heard the old adage that “what gets measured gets managed.” Since most countries and companies do not currently quantify how much or where food is being lost or wasted, it’s no surprise that the rates are so high. Without understanding the nature of the problem, it is difficult to effectively address it.

Measuring food waste in Europe is now more feasible than ever. Earlier this year, the EU multi-stakeholder initiative FUSIONS released recommendations on how to quantify food waste in Europe. These guidelines will inform the EU Commission on a methodology to measure food waste consistently across the European Union, as called for by the Commission’s waste legislation proposal.

Efforts received a global boost this year with the launch of the Food Loss & Waste Protocol, the global standard for food loss and waste measurement and reporting which was developed by a partnership of UN agencies, research institutions, and private sector associations.

A third step is for countries and companies to take action. Knowing where and how much food is being lost and wasted makes it easier to set priorities to tackle the hotspots. Exactly what needs to be done will vary between regions and stages in the food supply chain.

In developing countries, for instance, steps to prevent food losses during production, handling and storage will be critically important. In developed countries, as well as in rapidly growing urban areas just about everywhere, steps to prevent food waste at retail markets, restaurants and homes will be vital.

Set goals, measure the problem, then act. In this way we just might achieve a future where no more food goes to waste.

Dr. Louise Fresco is President of the Executive Board, Wageningen University & Research Centre
Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Paul Bulcke, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé S.A.
Dr. Hans Hoogeveen, Ambassador / Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation
Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever.

All authors are part of Champions 12.3, a unique coalition of leaders from governments, businesses, international organisations, research institutions, and civil society dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilising action, and accelerating progress toward achieving SDG Target 12.3.

SDG Target 12.3 on Food Loss and Waste: 2016 Progress Report

A new report released September 22 assesses the world’s progress toward Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls on all nations to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030. Given the magnitude of food loss and waste globally, the report recommends nations, cities and businesses in the food supply chain move quickly to set reduction targets, measure progress and take action to reduce food loss and waste.

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Tackling the Environmental and Social Challenges Facing Agricultural Supply Chains and Rural Communities

On September 15, 36 leading agri-business companies launched the Global Agri-business Alliance (GAA) in Singapore. Their aim is to collectively tackle the major environmental and social challenges facing agricultural supply chains and rural communities across the world.

Announced at the Building Sustainable Futures Forum sponsored by Olam International, the newly-formed GAA is a CEO-led private sector initiative seeking to contribute significantly to the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, most notably SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture[1].

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We grow enough food. Getting it onto people’s plates is the problem.

By Kanayo Nwanze, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development

The post originally appeared on Huffington Post on August 29. 

World leaders have agreed to the ambitious goal of eradicating hunger by 2030. The scale of the problem is daunting. Every day 800 million people go to bed with empty stomachs and more than 8,000 children die needlessly from conditions linked to under-nutrition. And by the time we reach 2030, the global population is likely to include an additional 1.5 billion mouths to feed.

With these kinds of numbers, it is hard to believe we live in a world of plenty and we actually produce enough to feed every hungry person on earth. It is horrifying to think that one third of the food produced in the world is never consumed due to loss or waste.
When we think of food waste in the developed world, we think of consumable food thrown out of supermarkets, restaurants and homes. In the developing world, it is a different issue. Food is lost before it even gets to the market. Grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa alone are worth up to US$4 billion a year – enough to provide the minimum food requirements of at least 48 million people.

Continue reading We grow enough food. Getting it onto people’s plates is the problem.