Robert van Otterdijk (54) is a food technologist, graduated in 1985 from the Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands. He worked first in the dutch food industry in quality assurance and research & development, after which he joined the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN in 1989, on projects on post-harvest technology and food technology in Ghana (West Africa) and Tonga (South Pacific).
In 1995 he joined a SIDA (Sweden) funded field project in Zambia on production, processing and commercialisation of root & tuber crops. When this project was concluded, he returned to the private sector –spices industry, procurement, processing and export of paprika- as a quality assurance manager in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.
In 2002 he joined the FAO again, this time as the agro-industry officer of the Regional Office for Africa, based in Accra, Ghana. After six years he moved to FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, as an agro-industry officer in the Rural Infrastructure & Agro-Industries Division. His main responsibilities remained field projects on agro-industrial development in Africa, as well as headquarters based programmes on food loss prevention, agro-processing and quality management.
3 Questions to … Robert van Otterdijk
1. Which aspect of the food waste problem is the most relevant?
The aspect of management and organisation capacity of all actors in the food supply chains and stakeholders in the food systems, to improve collaboration among them.
Demonstrate and prove that increasing organisation and collaboration in the food supply chains will reduce food losses and waste.
Awareness raising on the magnitude and complexity of the problems of food loss and waste. Promoting Collaboration and partnerships. Research to feasible solutions and strategies to reduce food loss and waste. Projects to pilot and demonstrate solutions.