Today is the first year ever we observe the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.
We need to be aware of the importance of this issue in order to promote and implement our global efforts towards resolving it. That is why, in 2019, the 74th United Nations General Assembly designated 29 September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, recognizing the fundamental role that sustainable food production plays in promoting food security and nutrition.
This anniversary, especially this year during the global COVID-19 pandemic, want to bring a global wake-up on the need to transform and rebalance the way our food is produced and consumed. Food loss and waste in fact depletes the natural resource base and generates greenhouse gases.
Why is it important to reduce Food Loss and Waste?
Reducing food losses and waste is essential in a world where the number of people affected by hunger has been slowly on the rise since 2014, and tons of edible food are lost and/or wasted every day.
Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail, but also at the consumption level. When food is loss or wasted, all the resources that were used to produce this food – water, land, energy, labour and capital – go to waste.
Actions are required globally and locally to maximize the use of the food we produce. The introduction of technologies, innovative solutions, new ways of working and good practices to manage food quality and reduce food loss and waste are key to implementing this transformative change.
Public interventions should seek to facilitate investments in food losses and waste reduction by private actors especially at this critical time. Innovative business models, with the participation of the private sector need to be shaped and new approaches are needed to finance them, to stop food loss and food waste.
Reducing food loss and waste requires the attention and actions of all, from food producers, to food supply chain stakeholders, to food industries, retailers and consumers.
We should all be food savers: for the people and for the planet!