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(CMC) – Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) loses or wastes more than 127 million tons of food a year, an annual average of 223 kilos per person in a region where nearly 42 million people suffer from acute undernutrition or hunger,” the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has said.
It said that the #SinDesperdicio platform was conceived to help reduce this alarming level of food loss and waste (FLW). It will also seek to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society.
The platform brings together leading companies from the food and technology sectors, such as The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé, Dow Chemical, the FEMSA Foundation, Grupo Bimbo, IBM, and Oxxo. Other strategic partners include the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Food Banking Network, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), and the World Resources Institute.
The IDB said that in some of the region’s food groups, such as fruits and vegetables, losses exceed 50 per cent.
“At consumer level, particularly at homes, about 28 per cent of the food is wasted. This phenomenon takes place all along the food chain: in the production phase, 28 per cent is lost; in handling and storage, 21 per cent; in processing, six per cent; in distribution and marketing, 17 per cent; at consumer level, particularly at homes, about 28 per cent of food goes to waste.”
The IDB said that this situation also has a huge impact on the environment, by some estimates, at global level 18 per cent of all productive land and 19 per cent of fertilizers are used to produce food that never gets consumed.
It said that the platform will promote four areas of activity: innovative projects, national and local public policies, knowledge generation, and responsible consumer habits.
In the field of innovation, processes and technologies throughout the production chain will be promoted—from infrastructure that improves logistics, to novel food recovery and donation models.
The platform will also foster public policies in areas such as adoption of labelling standards, norms and incentives for food donation, and support for national and municipal FLW reduction.
In the area of knowledge, efforts will be made to enhance the existing data on food loss and waste levels and their causes.
The platform will also promote behavioural changes through awareness and training campaigns aimed at minimizing food waste among producers, distributors and end consumers.
IDB Executive Vice President, Julie T. Katzman, pointed out that #SinDesperdicio is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG) whose goal number 12.3 seeks to cut per capita food waste by half and reduce losses in the production and distribution chains by the year 2030.
“Meeting these goals will demand effort from all of us. This associates platform is a starting point to reduce food losses and waste, a fundamental agenda to achieve our objective of improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Dow’s Plastics and Special Packaging Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Juan Contreras said, his organisation is proud to collaborate with the IDB and to partner with the private sector, governments, and the civil society in the #SinDesperdicio platform.
“We are clearly facing the challenge of providing food to more people in more sustainable ways, striving to significantly minimize food loss and waste in its value chain. We at Dow believe that collaborative efforts to develop solid solutions to promote more economic development, improve the environment, and help communities and other strategic value chains linked to the food chain will bring about real and sustainable change.”