Food waste. On September 29, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held an event to mark International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day. The event in Rome was a call to action for public and private entities in the agrifood system to act to measure and reduce food loss and waste and to change consumer behavior to limit food waste (FLW). In Argentina, in particular, an event was also held to review food recovery compliance goals. In this context, the private sector presented the measures taken to reduce food wastage.
At the event in Argentina, Ricardo Daniel Miccino, Director of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Municipality of Chascomús, referred to the work they are doing to reduce FLW. “The idea is to implement a work plan for the reduction of FLW in restaurants, food stores, municipal concessions and catering services, providing training and acting as a link to generate links between them and the community kitchens that need food”, said the local official.
Regarding the role of the private sector, Diego Buranello, Director of Corporate Affairs of Danone Argentina, presented the food rescue plan that has been implemented in the company since 2008. According to Buranello, Danone started with a food rescue plan throughout the production chain, from producers to retail, where all unsold products are returned to Danone. He also specified that they work with 50 social organizations, government agencies and the Food Bank.
At the climate level, food loss and waste is also a relevant issue. The FAO report “The State of Food and Agriculture” states that food loss and waste account for between 8% and 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. “We need collective action in order to scale up efforts to reduce food loss and waste while limiting greenhouse gas emissions,” said QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General.
At the event in Rome, QU Dongyu stressed the importance of developing and implementing national strategies, policies and partnerships aimed at accelerating action to reduce food loss and waste. “Stakeholders at all levels also have a key role to play. These include the farming community, food supply chain actors, research and academia,” said the FAO Director-General.
McDonald’s could consider the regulatory frameworks in force in the different countries of the region, as well as evaluate the different actions, programs and campaigns being carried out by other private sector actors, in order to emulate best practices in this area and position itself as a responsible agent.