The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is coordinating with partners including Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Grupo Bimbo, Dow Chemical, the FEMSA Foundation, IBM, and Oxxo to fight food waste across Latin America and the Caribbean.
The #SinDesperdicio platform aims to tackle the more than 127 million tons of food wasted across across Latin America and the Caribbean every year. This equate to an annual average of 223 kilos per person in a region where nearly 42 million people suffer from acute undernutrition (hunger).
The platform will promote four areas of work: innovative projects, national and local public policies, knowledge generation and responsible consumption habits.
The platform will develop pilot projects in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina with a view to expand to other nations in the region. Other strategic partners to the platform include the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Food Banking Network, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), and the World Resources Institute.
Losses all along the supply chain
Food waste occurs all along the food chain: 28% is lost in the production phase, 21% is lost in handling and storage, 6% in processing, 17% in distribution and marketing, and 28% at a consumer level, particularly at homes.
There is also an environmental impact to this because, according to some estimates, globally 18% of all productive land and 19% of fertilizers are used to produce food that never gets consumed.
Grupo Bimbo’s Global Sustainability Manager Alejandra Vázquez commented: “Ever since our foundation more than 70 years ago, it has been our priority to work day in and day out to build a sustainable, highly productive and fully humane company. As founding partners of this platform, we are also taking one more step to fulfill our purpose of contributing to make the world a better place. We commend the IDB for this initiative, and we trust that by joining efforts and synergies, we will all manage to reduce food losses in our region.”
“We are proud to be making this effort to reduce food loss in Latin America,” said Olga Reyes, The Coca-Cola Company’s Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Vice President for Latin America. “This is a commitment where we all gain: communities gain, consumers gain, producers gain, and most of all, the environment gains. This will become part of the legacy we leave to the generations to come.”
The platform aims to promote innovation, processes and technologies throughout the production chain, 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 labeling 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 behavioral changes through awareness and training campaigns aimed at minimizing food waste among producers, distributors and end consumers.
“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,” said Juan Contreras, Dow’s Plastics and Special Packaging Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
IDB Executive Vice President Julie Katzman explained that #SinDesperdicio is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, 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,” she said. “This 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.”
Laurent Freixe, CEO of Zone Americas at Nestlé, added: “We have to work together to turn the tide for people and the planet. Nestlé is doing its part, including aiming for zero waste for disposal at all our sites by 2020, and fighting food waste together with our suppliers and consumers.”
Patricia Menezes, IBM Latin America Corporate Citizenship executive, stressed the importance of using technology paired with industry expertise for the benefit of society as a whole. “We are mighty proud of participating in this initiative and of having the chance to provide access to disruptive technologies such as IBM Cloud and Watson API to several not-for-profit organizations and universities linked to #SinDesperdicio so that, working together, we can help improve the production and distribution chain in order to minimize food losses for the benefit of all citizens in Latin America.”
Source: Food Navigator