Recent SAVE FOOD INITiative study reveals causes of food losses in Kenya an offers specific solutions
“Food Loss Assessments: Causes and Solutions” – presentation of study findings part of busy agenda at second international SAVE FOOD Congress in Düsseldorf
Case studies looking at smallholder agricultural operations and fisheries in Kenya illustrate the causes of and possible solutions to food losses. Resulting approaches could be applied to other African markets, as well. These include the development of capacities along the supply chain and the targeted use of technology as well as an increase in training opportunities for growers, the establishment of local warehouses and distribution centres, and raising awareness regarding efficiency and sustainability improvements in general. These are the kinds of measures recommended by a recent baseline study conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Specifically, the study deals with the issue of improving yields for milk, fish and maize in Kenya.
Creating studies that point the way ahead is a fundamental component of SAVE FOOD, an Initiative launched by the FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Messe Düsseldorf to prevent food losses and food waste. The present study primarily examines and assesses the current state of cultivation, storage and transport of selected foodstuffs in the East African country. The assessment goes beyond a simple analysis of the current situation, however, by working out detailed approaches to solving the problem. The study has been conducted against the backdrop of too much food grown in Kenya – as well as in many other developing countries – still being lost right after the harvest.
Unlike many previous studies, “Food Loss Assessment: Causes and Solutions” – the project’s official title – has focussed on and even emphasises the significance of individual factors responsible for losses and the distinct impact of different approaches, taking into account costs and sustainability, among other aspects.
The findings of the study will be presented at the SAVE FOOD Congress in Düsseldorf on 7 and 8 May 2014, which takes place during interpack, the world’s leading trade fair. This will be the second edition of the event in Düsseldorf after the one in 2011, the year the SAVE FOOD Initiative was founded. Its central focus is the prevention of food losses and food waste. The SAVE FOOD Initiative – by incorporating actors from business, civil society, politics and science representing the entire length of the food value chain – employs a holistic approach in the pursuit of this goal.
Innovationparc Packaging featuring FAO and UNEP
Held on the same days as interpack and thus extending past the two-day Congress, the Innovationparc Packaging will feature the latest developments and specific solutions surrounding the food loss issue. Officials from FAO and UNEP will be among the Innovationparc Packaging exhibitors. The primary objective is to demonstrate to the corporate sector a variety of approaches that can lead to the development of perfectly matched solutions. Regional aspects play a key role in this context, because specific local requirements are critically important when identifying suitable solutions.
Platform for Pan-European coordination – catering that fits the event, under the guidance of Tristram Stuart
One key item on the agenda, taking place immediately after the SAVE FOOD Congress, is the regional platform meeting of the EU research project FUSIONS. Its main goal is the development of a multi-stakeholder platform intended to support interest groups across Europe as they pursue the target of reducing food waste by half and resource inputs in the food chain by 20% by 2020. The platform meeting will present a multifaceted programme of sessions and workshops covering a range of topics from social innovation to packaging to retail.
Last but not least, „Feeding the 5000,” the initiative launched by British activist Tristram Stuart, will implement a practical example of how food that’s been discarded and then “saved” can be used in sensible and tasty ways. A dual effect is aimed at here: On the one hand, visitors will be served a low-cost but high-quality meal. On the other hand, they’ll come face to face with the food waste issue. “Feeding the 5000” will be supported by the Düsseldorf organisation “Slow Food Youth – Düsseldorf.”
To obtain the complete programme of events scheduled for 7 and 8 May, please visit the website www.save-food.org and select “Congress 2014.”
SAVE FOOD is a joint Initiative of FAO, UNEP and Messe Düsseldorf.
About one third of all food produced for human consumption is thrown away or lost worldwide – which amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes each year. But one out of eight people worldwide are starving. Less than one fourth of the food currently lost worldwide would suffice to feed these human beings. The events of 7 and 8 May 2014 will help us take one more step in the right direction.