On 22 January, there was a press conference in Geneva to launch a “Think.Eat.Save Campaign: Reduce Your Foodprint”. Notice that the last word here is FOODprint, not FOOTprint. It is not entirely clear why there was only a press conference and not an event. But here it is: the FAO, UNEP, something called Messe Düsseldorf”, and several NGOs including “Feeding the 5,000”, the “Water and Resources Action Programme” (WRAP), and the “Love Food Hate Waste” Initiative, as well as the Zero Hunger Challenge — all joined together to announce this campaign. The goal of the campaign is to mobilize awareness and change the culture to reduce food waste both in the consumption system and in food production (where it is both lost and wasted).
One-third of all food is lost or wasted, worth an estimated $1 trillion per year. At the consumer end, it is roughly 300 million tonnes, and the argument is that at least half of that is unnecessary food waste. This means that the food is still fit for consumption but is discarded by producers, retailers or consumers for appearance or a generically applied “sell-by” date or simply too much food on the plate.
The campaign is also intending to mobilize and support changes in the food production system. Better harvesting techniques, processing, storage, transport and marketing methods are involved here. The gap from field to fork has many opportunities for improvements to change the culture of food waste and loss. Both ends are receiving support in this campaign. The FAO already has a “Save Food” Initiative that is working at both ends of the food chain, while UNEP brings its expertise on resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production patterns. Messe Düsseldorf is an unusual partner – it is a trade fair company that is supporting a SAVE FOOD campaign which is apparently being linked to this broader Think.Eat.Save Campaign. And the NGOs? We’ll be taking a closer look at these in our new Global Issues and Players Program.
From the CMBD News 28 January 2013