Learning Event No. 10: Highlights. ARDD2012 Rio.

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Key messages from Learning Event No. 10: "Which are the loss and waste “hotspots” in food systems which can be targeted and what options are available at the levels of infrastructure, farming practices, processing, distribution and household habits?", at the 2012 Agriculture and Rural Development Day in Rio de Janiero.

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Learning Event No. 10: Highlights. ARDD2012 Rio.

  1. 1. ARDD 18 June FAO Learning event Room B (13 participants)Key messages:  Presentation Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste reduction – Alexandre Meybeck FAO Differences between regions. More of half we lose is due to consumers . Whereas indeveloped countries, in Africa e.g. consumers level loss is very low, but we see very differentnumbers depending on the product. Distribution and processing level: this is the hotspot weneed to do things. Globally seen, but we need to see what the barrier is. In developingcountries food mainly get’s lost due to: poor production planning; productions problems;premature harvesting. Prevention possible through organizing themselves. Investment ininfrastructure, packaging. Develop knowledge and capacity of food chain operators to applysafe food handling practices. Improve investment climate for agro-industry; develop contractfarming, to bring security into the whole process. Marketing cooperatives and improvedmarket facilities.In industrialized countries production has exceeded the demand. Prevent by communicationand cooperatives between farmers. They also cope with high quality appearance of food,could be prevented by consumers surveys by supermarkets, sales closer to consumers. Price offood in industrialized countries is now so low, consumers don’t give any value anymore tofood. Raise public awareness and giving more value to food.Food system perspective needed, with a supply chain approach. Reducing food losses calls forhuge investments. It is an economic as well as an environmental issue, e.g. if you waste foodyou waste water. Need for holistic thinking applying to the specific area. Restore value offood, have higher prices for food in industrialized countries. All stakeholders need to beinvolved, working in partnerships. Save food initiative: www.save-food.  Protecting Harvests, The Impact of Post-Harvest Losses in an Ugandan context - Rose AkakiAchieving FS for all means food has to be accessible, available, affordable and sufficient, andnutritious, not an easy task. Need the efforts of all stakeholders to achieve this, has not gonedown to the level of the small scale farmers. To feed 9 billion world population by 2050 weneed to produce 1 billion tones of…. And 200 billion….We need to use more of what wegrow. By reducing the productions losses and food waste. 15-50% estimated post-harvestlosses in developing countries, mainly fresh produce (FAO). Field, transportation from field,on-farm drying, shelling and cleaning (inappropriate technologies), storage; total estimatedlosses 30%. 1
  2. 2. Losses through insect infestation and early sales. For fruits and vegetables appropriatestorage, poor market facilities are main problem. If marketing is not properly organized lossesof up to 80% can occur, in fresh fruits and vegetables. Value addition would be solution……Results a.o. reduced incomes for families. Recommendations: building local storage facilities;introducing warehouse receipt system; rural infrastructure system.. Best means to achieve FSfor all is reducing food waste and loss.  International Meat Secretariat - speakerToday we can produce 2 pigs with same environmental impact. Cattle can be fed by crops thatare not used for human consumption and might otherwise not be used. Improved productionmeans less need for resources. Using less feed, water and land. Possible through managementand knowledge intensive systems. Economic impact of valorization, by finding markets for allparts, only possible through highly intensive information and technology system. Ineffectives production systems, nothing is wasted. Even to be used for biodiesel. Createbusiness value, from farm to fork.Partnerships needed between developed and developing countries.  Discussion with the audience(UK) Food waste in relation to excessive consumption. We eat too much, 1 billion in theworld overweight, is another aspect of food waste. How should we change research mode?FAO – overconsumption is also regarded as waste. Different questions of research. Is itresearch development, involvement of farmers. Change of consumers behavior, role forprivate sector.IMS – Consumer decides and the food is not expensive.Growing obesities issues for children, globallySmall-scale farmer Uganda suggests to reduce food loss when it is tailered to environmentmanagement. SD especially has to do with environment: water, biodiversity. Farmers whotake farming as a business, as a business man/woman, but there a not many. Not takingfarming as a business. We can’t eliminate losses completed, what % would you be allowed tolose (not 0%)? Try to re-use what is being wasted. How can FAO assist local farmers?Facilitator: Organization of small holder farmers is the first step.Sweden consuming too much and buying too much, because of low price food. Milk evencheaper than e.g. coca cola. Fat tax introduced in Denmark. Price is the problem, value food,how to introduce this in development countries? How can we balance this? By introducing atax at political level? Lack of value chain, local markets. Building cooperatives has beensuccessful in Sweden. 2
  3. 3. Yale University (consultant at FAO) Different food standards, standards emerging inmiddle-class countries: how will this impacts the amounts of food that will be waste.Russia Overproduction, taste, pleasureFAO Minimum of losses and waste: production and … stage: 5% waste Take the bestexamples in the world. Main question: what is food for us? In Niger food is 70% of budget, inUS under 10%. Quality standard and waste, is a global issue, sometimes going throughWTO. If there is the capacity available to arrive at good standards, they should not lead tomore losses and waste. More a problem the farmers are being excluded. What is the businessmodel? Middlemen is not the problem.IMS – society doesn’t value the nutrition value of products, more interested on image andpleasure.Rose - cooperatives didn’t work earlier because of political instability. Now using (collective)warehouses, to increase profitability.WFO what is definition of waste, and how do we turn that around. Biogas, composter etc.FAO - Food that has been produced for human consumption. Not the peal of an apple whenyou eat it. Counted as loss and waste, when it falls out of the value chain, food given to pigs isa loss, even given to poor. In developing countries the figures for food waste and losses areincredibly high, but it is certain it is being re-used in the best way, compost etc.Facilitator: Cultural aspect of food waste and losses, through education in schools. 3

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