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69% of food industry companies actively combat food waste

69% of food industry companies actively combat food waste

According to a study, 69% of food industry companies actively combat food waste

69% of the food industry and distribution companies gathered in Madrid for the 4th AECOC Save Food Meeting are already implementing projects to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste, while a further 8% intend to implement such a plan in the near future.

According to AECOC, this is one of the figures that emerged from the event held on 26 September and attended by over 300 professionals from the agri-food chain, public authorities, food banks and consumer associations.

The meeting was attended by Queen Letizia in her capacity as Special Ambassador for Nutrition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), who highlighted the information received by consumers from food labelling; as well as by the acting Minister for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs of the Government of Spain, Isabel García-Tejerina, who highlighted the fact that over 7.7 million tonnes of food are wasted in Spain every year and underlined the importance of all stakeholders in the agri-food chain working with the public authorities to combat this “ethical, health, nutritional and environmental problem”.

The meeting also examined successful case studies that have been implemented by the primary sector, the industry and the food distribution sector so as to foster an exchange of ideas and experiences.

Hence, the General Manager of Multivac, Christian Traumann, said that between 40% and 55% of all fruit and vegetables worldwide go to waste of the total figures from harvest production, processing and storage during transport and arrival to the point of sale and consumers’ homes. Furthermore, he said that most of this waste takes place in people’s homes or at the point of sale in the developed world. With that in mind, Christian Traumann highlighted the importance of food packaging in the goal to reduce waste.

In turn, the Human Resources and External Relations Director of Carrefour Spain, Arturo Molinero Sánchez, stressed that his company donated over 6.3 million kilos of food to food banks in 2015. During the course of the event, the Carrefour executive presented eight vans especially equipped for refrigerated product transport to the Spanish Federation of Food Banks (Spanish acronym: FESBAL) with a view to facilitating the distribution of surplus food to its members in the best possible condition. These vehicles are valued at 300,000 euros.

2nd BRAINSTORMING SESSION

The meeting also included the 2nd Food Waste Brainstorming Session, a competition in which consumers send in their ideas and suggestions on what companies could do to help people make better use of food and avoid food waste.

The winning idea, chosen during the event by those attending, was entitled ‘What is Normal?’ [‘Todos somos raros’], by Olaya Pazos, with an initiative that proposes offering an outlet section in supermarkets for products that fail to meet the usual visual appearance standard. For example, Olaya Pazos referred to non-standard fruit and vegetables or damaged tins and Tetra bricks at reduced prices.

As a prize, the winner will receive a year’s shopping in the form of 12 monthly product deliveries valued at 150 euros each from the companies taking part in this initiative: Calidad Pascual, Caprabo, Carrefour, Covirán, Danone, Dia, Ebro, El Corte Inglés, Grupo Siro, Idilia Foods, Mahou San Miguel and Unilever.

The event concluded with a showcooking session and cocktail party based on waste reduction recipes offered by the IFA group. The event is organised by Save Food, which is an initiative by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Düsseldorf Fair, the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club and AECOC.

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