Experts from Industry, Associations and NGOs shed Light on Food Losses and Waste from Different Perspectives
30 May 2018 saw the first international SAVE FOOD Conference being held as part of IPACK-IMA (29 May to 1 June), one of the most important European trade fairs for packaging and processing. Speakers from major groups and small companies, associations and NGOs addressed the issue of international food waste and losses from different angles.
After the big SAVE FOOD Congress of the initiative of the same name held by the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and Messe Düsseldorf, the next event was now on the agenda in Milan in late May.
“An industry hotspot for food processing and packaging, IPACK-IMA provides the ideal setting for exchange and a solutions-oriented discussion among experts as part of a SAVE FOOD Conference,” comments Bernd Jablonowski, responsible for SAVE FOOD and Global Portfolio Director Processing and Packaging at Messe Düsseldorf.
After Enrico Aureli, President of the Italian Machinery Manufacturers’ Association UCIMA, and Bernd Jablonowski, officially opened the Conference, the first session kicked off with a lecture by Alberto Vacchi, President of the Ima Group. This company, highly committed to the SAVE FOOD Initiative has co-financed FAO studies in Africa, to name but one activity. He was followed by Stefan Glimm, Senior Executive Advisor at Flexible Packaging Europe, a committed SAVE FOOD member from the beginning. He highlighted the role of packaging as a tool for reducing food losses and waste. Sonja Mattfeld, Partner & Regional Director East Africa, subsequently reported about the SAVE FOOD mango project, which could serve as a blueprint for similar businesses in other regions of the world. FAO Agro-Industry Officer Robert van Otterdijk, who has been involved with this topic at the Food and Agricultural Organisation since the outset of the Initiative, focused on the role of the private sector in combating food waste and losses on a national level.
The second session was dedicated to presenting successful companies that have implemented smart ideas revolving around the issues of food losses and waste. It started with a presentation by Parag Gupta, Joint Secretary at the Indian Ministry for Food Processing. In the following talk delivered by Fabio Moioli, Head of Consulting and Service at Microsoft, the role of technology was centre stage, especially machine learning, cloud computing, drones and networks and their potential contribution to solving problems.
The Conference concluded with the lecture by Rahel Moges, founder of Ethiogreen, an Ethiopian company from the food sector, who shared her practical experiences.