Furthermore, Data from FAO shows that, Brazil is in a moderate position on food loss and waste in Latin America, despite exhibiting good practices, such as supply centres and food banks, which strengthen and integrate the work of the food and nutritional security units. For EU Counsellor in Brazil, Rui Ludovino, it is important to ensure people have access to a safe and healthy food supply - this being one of the most critical challenges, "In this context, there is no room for food waste. The theme is global and transversal and has economic, social and environmental impacts. In order to be successful, it is necessary the involvement of all international, national and local authorities" he clarified.
To continue, Mr Ludovino, also stressed that the EU is committed to halving food waste per capita by 2030, a target set in the new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Mr. Ludovino also explained what the Sector Dialogues are, and highlighted the creation of the EU platform “Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW)”. The goal is to combat food waste, from farms to the consumer.
According to the FAO representative in Brazil, Alan Bojanic, the main problem that Brazil is facing is that the country still has between 10% and 30% of food waste from the harvest to the consumer, reaching 40% in some cases, "It's along the chain that different percentages [of waste] happen," Bojanic said. He also commented that successful international experiences could be adopted in Brazil so that there is a substantial reduction of these losses. "Because it is not only an ethical issue, but also has a very strong environmental dimension, such as greenhouse gas emissions from wasted food. It is a financial, economic, and social issue, "he said.
According to the director of ABRE - Brazilian Packaging Association, Luciana Pellegrino, representative of 200 companies of the entire packaging chain, applying more technology and educating the consumer can contribute to the reduction of waste in the sector. "Offering individual portions, packages that extend the life of the products help the consumer to consume everything they buy," he said; Luciana also stressed the importance in the engagement of the sector in initiatives such as "Save Food" - an initiative that seeks to form a network of actors in the fight against food loss and waste (PDA) - and praised the Sector Dialogues and Embrapa with regard to their efforts in reducing food loss.
"Retail has the role of communicating with both the rural producer and the urban consumer. We are an important link in the fight against food waste and the Abras convention, in 2018, can open space for the partners involved in waste reduction, "said Marcio Milan, superintendent of the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (ABRAS).
Fight against food waste - The world's concern about food waste is still very recent, in Spain, the "More Food, Less Waste" strategy began in 2013. Spanish food banks help to make better use of food because they improve retention and distribution processes in order to reduce losses. In France, the population aims to cut waste in half by 2025, according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In that country, retail stores above 400m2 are prohibited from destroying food. The European Community platform on food waste was created in 2016.
Brazil has the Brazilian Network of Food Banks and accounts for 228 food banks (107 public and 111 private). "Our concern is not just about fighting hunger, we also promote healthy eating," said Kathleen Machado, general coordinator of Public Equipment at the Ministry of Social and Agrarian Development (MDSA).
According to Boianic, the main offenders of food loss and waste are inadequate storage and transportation practices and poor consumer habits. Among the "bad habits" of those who buy food is the rejection of food with unusual appearance. It is in this sense that FAO has encouraged the consumption of ‘imperfect’ and ‘ugly’ fruits or vegetables.
To finalize, Mr. Boianic revealed how he observed the need to improve the regulation of food losses along the production chain, from production to consumption, and the approval of laws to guide public policies that may be implemented. He said the problem is so great that more efforts and investments will be needed to reduce the losses that occur, "The problem is not easy. It is a combination of changing attitudes with large investments in some cases. In other cases, they are smaller investments, but they have to be made." According to him, proper legislation is needed to encourage credit, as well as the adoption of new technologies and changing eating habits, and articulate the interests of the private sector of the food industry, distribution and supermarkets with the interests of consumers and society in general terms. According to Mr. Bojanic, the articulation of actors is a key argument in this fight.
Sector Dialogues - The seminar was part of the project approved by the Sector Dialogues Support Facility, a strategic partnership between the EU and Brazil to promote the exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices on topics of mutual interest, and was ranked in the Top-down modality, as it is a high-level political dialogue between the governments involved. Embrapa coordinates the project in partnership with WWF Brazil.
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