Reducing food losses & food wastes (FLW) is a key global challenge to ensure sufficient and healthy food for the future and to use available resources – arable land, water, nutrients, energy, labour – as efficiently as possible.
Radical reduction of food losses and waste (FLW) is a crucial issue to ensure global food security and to use the available resources in the best manner possible. Not for nothing United Nations identified FLW reduction as Goal 12.3 of Sustainable Development Goals.
Hence at MACS Meeting 2015 in Izmir (Turkey) the G20 States decided to place emphasis on FLW. Germany was charged with developing relevant activities. First step was the establishment of an appropriate web portal with information about current research activities, latest innovations and available scientific expertise.
But only collecting and documenting information isn’t enough. In fact G20 States should unite their strong potentials and make significant contribution to real progress. So as next step a joint MACS initiative is scheduled pooling promising research findings, innovative technological and logistical solutions, successful campaigns etc. concerning FLW reduction. Goal is to organize "touchable" progress.
Germany coordinates the bi- and multilateral activities of the initiative. For further information please contact Dr. Felicitas Schneider at Thünen Institute of Market Analysis.
Registration at the web portal is open to experienced persons working in the field of food loss and waste prevention at any point of the whole food supply chain. Registration is free of charge. Aim of the platform is to provide direct contact to experts on FLW on a global scale.
Dr. Thomas Schmidt, Stefan Lange and Dr. Felicitas Schneider from Thünen Institute worked as guest-editors for a special issue of the Journal "Sustainability" addressing „National Food Loss and Waste Prevention Strategies and Monitoring approaches – an interdisciplinary challenge for decision makers, researchers and practice“.
Finally, we achieved the valuable contribution from 10 international author groups who went successfully through the review process. The papers include experiences from Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States of America. They are freely available for download here through open access. We would like to thank all colleagues who shared their valuable insights with us!
Successful MACS driven activities concerning FLW reduction require both a coherent strategy and its well-considered implementation. As announced at MACS Meeting 2016 in Xi’an (China), this perennial process started with a kick-off workshop of interested MACS partners in June 2017 in Berlin.
One aim of our activities is to organise an international FLW workshop annually in cooperation with that G20 member who holds the present G20 presidency. The corresponding workshop should be dedicated to specific Food Loss and Waste topics relevant for the region and open for various stakeholders.
Thus, the second FLW workshop was organised in November 2018 in Buenos Aires/Argentina. The Argentinian Secretary of Agroindustry, FAO Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO Argentina, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) and Thünen Institute organised the side event “Regional Dialogue on Food Loss and Waste: Latin American solutions and initiatives” that was embedded within the FAO event “Week of Food and Agriculture”.
In plenary and working group sessions several issues of food loss and waste were presented and discussed among the approx. 50 participants from eleven Latin American and Caribbean countries. The participants represented a very good mix of policy decision makers, food producers, NGOs, international associations and researchers.
At the end of the workshop, the “Call to Buenos Aires Action on Food Loss and Waste” was signed by all organisers and by representatives from the Interamerican Development Bank, the Consumer Goods Forum as well as the Global Food Banking Network (english version, spanish version of the call). By signing this Call the participants underlined their strong commitment for future joint cooperation and support of food waste prevention activities in the region.
The "International Workshop on Food Loss and Waste Prevention targeting Southeast and East Asian region" as third event of the series took place in Tokyo from October 16th to 18th, 2019. It was implemented together with UN Environment’s programme of regional capacity building workshops on FLW and the FAO´s World Food Day 2019. The organisation team included the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan as the presidency holder of 2019 MACS-G20, FAO Japan, UN Environment and Thünen Institute.
The aim of the workshop was to support the delivery of SDG Target 12.3, halving food waste at retail and consumer level, and reducing food loss across the supply chain as well as to facilitate the cooperation and network building among countries in Asia with respect to sharing knowledge and experiences in measuring and reducing FLW at all levels. It provided guidance on setting baselines and measuring progress on FLW, defining a national strategy on FLW reduction, developing effective actions targeting households and the supply chain, and using FLW to raise ambition on greenhouse gas reduction in the 2020 Nationally Determined Contributions revision.
In total, 78 participants from Japan, Singapore, China, Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Germany as well as from FAO and UNEP attended the workshop at United Nations University Headquarters (UNU Centre, Tokyo). A workshop summary is provided to the public for further inspiration and networking.
Please find the presentations as links embedded to the following agenda.
|October 16th, 2019|
|14:30 - 17:30|
|18:00 – 19:20|
Symposium as World Food Day Event
|19:30 – 20:50|
|October 17th, 2019 (Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall, 5th floor)|
chair: Mr. Shunichi Honda (UNEP)
|9:00 - 09:30|
|09:30 – 09:50|
Keynote speech“Background of the Promulgation of the Act on Promotion of Food Loss and Waste Reduction in Japan”
|09:50 – 11:20|
Session 1: FLW measurement and reporting
|11:20 – 11:35||Coffee break|
|11:35 – 13:05|
Session 2: Household Food Waste
|13:05 - 13:15||Group photo|
|13:15 - 14:00||Lunch|
|October 17th, 2019 (Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall, 5th floor)|
|chair: Ms. Anuda Tawatsin (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment/Thailand)|
|14:00 – 15:30|
Session 3: Legal challenges and policy options
|15:30 – 16:00||Coffee break|
|chair: Mr. Kohei Watanabe (Teikyo University/Japan)|
|16:00 - 17:00|
Session 4: poster session
“Utilisation of food waste to animal feed – the example of ecofeed” (Mr. Tomoyuki Kawashima/University of Miyazaki/Japan)
|17:00 – 18:30|
Session 5: Post-harvest losses – challenges and perspectives in East and Southeast Asian countries
|October 18th, 2019 (Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall, 5th floor)|
|chair: Mr. Stefan Lange (Thünen Institute/Germany)|
|09:00 - 09:30|
Session 6: Adressing Food Waste in the food service sector
|10:30 - 11:00||Coffee Break|
|11:00 - 12:30|
Session 7: National Stategies on Food Loss and Waste
|12:30 - 13:30||Lunch|
|chair: Mr. Kohei Watanabe (Teikyo University/Japan)|
|13:30 – 14:30|
Session 8: Facilitating cooperation and network building on Food Loss and Waste in the region
|14:30 – 15:00|
Wrap up and closing remarks
The "Regional Food Loss & Waste Workshop" as fourth event of the series took place as hybrid event hosted in Riyadh on October 15th, 2020. The organisation team included the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia as the G20 presidency holder of 2020 as well as Thünen Institute.
The 65 participants from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain and Germany as well as from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) represented the scientific community, companies, interest groups as well as authorities.
The aim of the workshop was to provide impetus for the establishment of regional networks and cooperation along the value chain to facilitate further monitoring of food loss and waste and im-plementation of prevention measures in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Particular emphasis was placed on the link between food security and food waste, business models for prevention, the contribution of households to the topic and the role of an unbroken cold chain as well as reliable infrastructure. Participants also reported on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the food supply chain in their countries and the measures taken to secure the supply and avoid unused surpluses. Special emphasis was placed on the cultural characteristics of the region, such as the joint celebration of large festivals, which lead to above-average amounts of surplus food. In addition to technical solutions to the special challenges posed by the region´s climate, the conference therefore called for awareness-raising measures for all stakeholders.
The host country Saudi Arabia is the only one in the Gulf region that has already published a baseline for the amount of food waste generation in 2019. Other countries in the region now want to follow this example and benefit from Saudi expertise.
Please find the agenda as well as the presentations by session embedded in the following list. Some impressions of the hybrid event can be found in the photo gallery below.
|Thursday, October 15th 2020|
|12:30 - 12:45|
Welcoming Address Chairperson of the G20-MACS 2020
Prof. Suliman Ali Al-Khateeb (Director General Plant Resources, Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Mr. Stefan Lange (Research director, Thünen Institute, Germany)
UNEP Overview of Food Loss & Waste Initiative
Mr. Sami Dimassi (Director and Regional Representative, West Asia Office, United Nations Environment Programme)
|12:45 - 13:30||Session 1. Food Losses & Waste Strategy to enhance Food Security|
Moderator: Miss Arwa Numan (Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Food Waste and Loss: an integral part of achieving sustainable Food Security
Mr. Essa AbdulRahman AlHashemi (Head of Food and Water Security, United Arab Emirates)
Food Loss and Waste in the wheat value chain of Egypt, Jordan and Morocco
Dr. Yigezu Atnafe Yigezu (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Egypt)
Food Security Strategy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Eng. Abdullah AlRabiah (Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Discussion (15 min)
|13:30 - 14:20||Session 2. Strategies for fighting food waste in business sector|
Moderator: Dr. Felicitas Schneider (coordinator FLW Collaboration Initiative launched at MACS-G20, Thünen Institute, Germany)
Challenges for Food Loss and Waste infrastructure and logistics in Gulf Cooperation Council countries
Mr. Najeeb Alhumaid (Farrelly & Mitchell Business Consultants Ltd.)
Measuring Food Waste at hotels and restaurants and economic benefit from prevention: The Food Waste Opportunity
Mr. Ignacio Ramirez (Winnow Solutions, United Arab Emirates)
Food Bank cooperation as a strategy to fight Food Waste
Mr. Amer AlDakhil (Secretary-General Specialized Council for the Preservation of Grace, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Discussion (20 min)
|14:20 - 14:40||Coffee break|
|14:40 - 15:30||Session 3. Food Waste at Household level|
Moderator: Miss Arwa Numan (MEWA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Food Waste Index
Mrs. Clementine O´Connor (Programme Management Officer, UNEP)
Strategies for Food Waste Reduction at Household level
Mr. Tarik Ismail (Chief Executive Officer, Savola World)
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Food Loss and Waste Baseline
Dr. Mohammed S. Alamri (Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Discussion (20 min)
|15:30 - 16:20||Session 4. Panel Discussion on the role of Cold Chain in Gulf Cooperation Council region to consolidate food supply chain|
Moderator: Mr. Stefan Lange (Thünen Institute, Germany)
Cold Chain Strategy to consolidate food chain in GCC countries
Mr. Abdullah Hamdan Al-Anazi (LuLu Saudi Hyper Market)
Cold Chain Strategy to consolidate food chain in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Prof. Salah Mohammed Aleid (King Faisal University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Discussion (30 min)
|16:20 - 16:30||Closing session|
Dr. Felicitas Schneider (Thünen Institute, Germany)
Prof. Suliman Ali Al-Khateeb (MEWA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
The annual series of regional FLW workshops was continued on November 4th, 2021 and dedicated to the respective G20 presidency country - which was Italy in 2021 - and the neighbouring region. The organisation team included FAO Rome (Italy), UN Environment (France), University Bologna (Italy), University Tuscia (Italy), RSC talent (Spain) and Thünen Institute (Germany).
The aim of the workshop was to support the delivery of SDG Target 12.3, halving food waste at retail, food service and household level, and reducing food loss across the supply chain as well as to facilitate the cooperation and network building among Mediterranean countries. Due to the pandemic, the length of the workshop was shortened to a one day virtual meeting.
The topics therefore have to focus on selected issues which have been identified as relevant challenges within the region:
- Food Loss in Primary Production
- Food surplus and waste from tourism activities as well as
- Addressing Food loss and waste in educational campaigns
As the Mediterranean region is characterised by the influence of three continents and corresponding culture, policy, infrastructure, legislation and climate conditions, we invited contributors from all three subregions (Northafrican coast, West Asian coast and Southeuropean coast) to share their valueable knowledge on FLW prevention. The programme followed our strategy to enhance knowledge exchange and structured discussion among our participants in order to support action. Each session consisted of introductory plenary presentations to provide input on the specific session topic followed by group working guided by key questions. A final plenary session was scheduled in order to allow a broader discussion of the interrelation of the three session topics and the context to other levels of the food supply chain and to summarise the results.
In total, 90 stakeholders from national and local policy makers, universities, private and public research institutions, social welfare organisations, food companies, waste management companies and consultants from 27 different countries joined us and shared their valuable experiences!
The presentations will be provided here soon!
The regional FLW workshop will be organised in cooperation with MACS-G20 secretariat Indonesia from October 5th to 6th, 2022 in Yogyakarta. We will provide further information here.