The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is carrying out extensive studies on the topic of food losses in various districts of India between May and July 2016. This was made possible by the membership fees of the SAVE FOOD Initiative.
The scientific work targets all stages of the value chain for chickpeas, mangos, milk and rice, quantifies the losses and outlines approaches for counter measures. As a first step the researchers sift existing data from numerous Indian research institutes in the food or agricultural sector to then gain further insights from field studies. To this end, farmers, processers, wholesalers and retailers as well as forwarders and storage operators were scientifically interviewed. In addition to this, shipments on the transport routes were tracked in order to record the quantities. For mangos the researchers also interviewed other protagonists in the export business.
Studies of this type are an important prerequisite for mitigating food losses in a targeted manner because these constitute a major problem especially in developing countries with the result that a major part of the produced food never reaches consumers. In an ideal case the insights gained can be transferred to other categories of food or similar markets applying generally valid mechanisms. The study is about approaches related to the building of capacities along the supply chain, the targeted use of technologies but also training for producers, about setting up local warehouse storage and distribution centres as well as creating general awareness about greater efficiency and sustainability.
The study in India is the second of its kind funded via the SAVE FOOD Initiative. In the run-up to interpack 2014 food losses in Kenya were looked at “under the microscope”. The results of the India Study will be presented at the SAVE FOOD Congress on the first day of the 2017 interpack trade fair (4 – 10 May) in Düsseldorf. Already featured on the agenda this year from 15 to 17 December are the interpack alliance, packtech India and food pex India trade fairs in Mumbai. Organised by Messe Düsseldorf in cooperation and concurrently with drink technology India (Messe München) these trade fairs bring processing and packaging technologies to India and can make a considerable contribution to reducing food losses.