Food waste. On September 29, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a seminar for International Food Loss and Waste Reduction Awareness Day. The event was hosted by Mario Lubektin, FAO Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, and was attended by representatives of ministries from Uruguay and Chile, as well as members of the Parliamentary Front Against Hunger to discuss public policy experiences to reduce food waste levels. FAO, together with PARLATINO and the Parliamentary Front Against Hunger are expected to work together with the countries of the region with the goal of reducing by half the Food Loss and Waste (PDA in Spanish) by 2030.
At the opening of the event, Lubetkin mentioned that the reduction of PDA reflects a multi-sectoral public policy not only because of the number of stakeholders involved (producers, consumers, public sector, academia and civil society), but also because of its positive effects on other agendas, such as climate change, food security and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
On the other hand, Robert Bouvier, Uruguayan Minister of the Environment, presented as an example of public policy, the National PDA Strategy, an agenda promoted at the local level thanks to the interaction with stakeholders from business, academia and civil society. The mission of this strategy is to reduce PDA by half in 10 years by working on strengthening the governance of public policies at all levels of government; on strengthening the responsible and sustainable value chain by the private sector; on the recovery and circularity of food, improving food safety; and on changing consumer behavior by educating them about the value of food.
For her part, legislator Sonia Rojas (Partido Liberación Nacional – opposition) of Costa Rica, regional coordinator of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America, said that in view of the increase in the price of food, energy and fertilizers, which could increase hunger levels in the region, “it is necessary that the reduction of the PDA be present in government agendas. Rojas also stated that legislating to reduce PDA is necessary to lead the region to a sustainable agrifood system.
During the FAO meeting, the presentation of the Strategy developed by Uruguay could serve as a guide and methodological basis for governments and congresses in Latin America and the Caribbean to advance in cross-cutting regulations on food loss and waste. The region also has the methodological note prepared by the Parliamentary Front against Hunger to legislate to prevent and reduce food loss and waste and, since February 2022, has the PARLATINO Model Law for the prevention and reduction of food loss and waste. This theoretical and practical corpus created by the entities and Uruguay could be taken into account for future legal reforms at the local level and considered at a future meeting of the entity.