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Prevention of food waste

How do we limit food waste, both through centralized and resource-effective kitchen production facilities as well as in the private kitchens, with gastronomy as a fundamental driver?

Why discuss food waste?

According to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) almost one third of all food produced worldwide gets lost or is wasted each year in food production and consumption systems. Wasting food means wasting the energy, water, space, nutrients and pesticides that were used to produce the food. In addition, to adequately feed nearly 10 billion people by the year 2050 the world will need to increase the availability of food by 60 % compared with current levels. There is a huge challenge in front of us to reduce food waste!

By reducing food waste we help the economy – for the consumers, for the businesses, as well as for the public sector – and we reduce our footprint on the environment. Reducing food waste simply makes good sense, from the business perspective as well as from an environmental perspective.

The potential for innovation is great and we need to engage all stakeholders if we are to succeed in being innovative and ultimately achieve our common goal adopted in September 2015 by the General Assembly of the United Nations; By 2030, halve per-capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses’. First step is to raise awareness. Next step is to make political decision makers, business and consumers take action and implement solutions to reduce food waste.

It is predicted that by 2050 about 64 % of the developing world and 86 % of the developed world will be urbanized. The geographical distance from the city population to agricultural production and the length of the food chain may influence the values and knowledge in consumption levels concerning food production and the impact of food waste.

More than 40 % of the food waste in industrialized countries occurs at retail and consumers level. In Europe 70 % of the food waste arises in the households, food service and retail sector. In China about 90 % of consumer food waste is found in mid- to high end restaurants and public service canteens, meaning that food waste is most severe during away-from-home meals. According to a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on food waste in China, consumer food waste is expected to continue increasing due to the growing affluence, escalating urbanization, and high trend of food waste in the catering and restaurant sector.

Challenges of food waste – investigating the problem:

  • What are the main challenges concerning the global goal for food waste, especially at the level of the service sector, retail and households and how will the growing urban population influence on food waste in the near future?
  • What are the main challenges in regards to sharing best practices and getting progress across country boarders, for example on how to make a viable business case of preventing food waste and the challenges to influence consumer behavior?
  • What are the main challenges to improve consumption values to prevent food waste and to be driver of a market for food waste solutions?

Solutions - investigating opportunities to reduce food waste:

  • Public authorities and city governments can contribute to the prevention of food waste in retail and the service sector as well as among consumers.
  • Viable business cases and partnerships across the food supply chain can contribute to the prevention of food waste in businesses.
  • Gastronomy can contribute to better food for more people and the prevention of food waste at the same time.

Prevention of food waste

  • How do we limit food waste, both through centralized and resource-effective kitchen production facilities as well as in the private kitchens, with gastronomy as a fundamental driver?

Why discuss food waste?

According to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) almost one third of all food produced worldwide gets lost or is wasted each year in food production and consumption systems. Wasting food means wasting the energy, water, space, nutrients and pesticides that were used to produce the food. In addition, to adequately feed nearly 10 billion people by the year 2050 the world will need to increase the availability of food by 60 % compared with current levels. There is a huge challenge in front of us to reduce food waste!

By reducing food waste we help the economy – for the consumers, for the businesses, as well as for the public sector – and we reduce our footprint on the environment. Reducing food waste simply makes good sense, from the business perspective as well as from an environmental perspective.

The potential for innovation is great and we need to engage all stakeholders if we are to succeed in being innovative and ultimately achieve our common goal adopted in September 2015 by the General Assembly of the United Nations; By 2030, halve per-capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses’. First step is to raise awareness. Next step is to make political decision makers, business and consumers take action and implement solutions to reduce food waste.

It is predicted that by 2050 about 64 % of the developing world and 86 % of the developed world will be urbanized. The geographical distance from the city population to agricultural production and the length of the food chain may influence the values and knowledge in consumption levels concerning food production and the impact of food waste.

More than 40 % of the food waste in industrialized countries occurs at retail and consumers level. In Europe 70 % of the food waste arises in the households, food service and retail sector. In China about 90 % of consumer food waste is found in mid- to high end restaurants and public service canteens, meaning that food waste is most severe during away-from-home meals. According to a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on food waste in China, consumer food waste is expected to continue increasing due to the growing affluence, escalating urbanization, and high trend of food waste in the catering and restaurant sector.

Challenges of food waste – investigating the problem:

  • What are the main challenges concerning the global goal for food waste, especially at the level of the service sector, retail and households and how will the growing urban population influence on food waste in the near future?
  • What are the main challenges in regards to sharing best practices and getting progress across country boarders, for example on how to make a viable business case of preventing food waste and the challenges to influence consumer behavior?
  • What are the main challenges to improve consumption values to prevent food waste and to be driver of a market for food waste solutions?

Solutions - investigating opportunities to reduce food waste:

  • Public authorities and city governments can contribute to the prevention of food waste in retail and the service sector as well as among consumers.
  • Viable business cases and partnerships across the food supply chain can contribute to the prevention of food waste in businesses.
  • Gastronomy can contribute to better food for more people and the prevention of food waste at the same time.

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