In Latin America and the Caribbean, per capita food losses and waste reach 223 kg per year, a figure that countries want to halve by 2030 through a new Regional Alliance for Food Loss and Waste Reduction FAO said today.
This was the main agreement reached during the first regional dialogue on food losses and waste, which took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with the presence of authorities, representatives of ministries, experts and actors of the agri-food systems of ten countries .
The participants agreed with FAO on a strategy to reduce food losses and waste, the central point of which is the creation of the regional alliance, in line with the new Millennium Development Goals and CELAC's Plan to Eradicate Hunger.
“With food that is wasted only at the retail level, the nutritional needs of all the people who currently suffer from hunger in our region could be satisfied,” explained Raúl Benítez, FAO Regional Representative.
A regional priority at the highest level
The reduction of food losses and waste is one of the lines of action of the CELAC Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Eradication of Hunger, the main regional agreement to achieve zero hunger by 2025.
“Eradicating hunger requires that we eliminate food waste and move towards a future where agri-food systems are sustainable, inclusive and efficient,” said Benítez.
In addition, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the international community to broaden and deepen the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, include the urgent need to reduce by half the total amount of food lost or wasted, as a goal towards the year 2030.
Common goals for the region
During the regional dialogue, a series of immediate actions were agreed: the need to involve public, private and civil society actors in the formation of national and local committees as facilitating bodies with strategic programs aimed at reducing losses and waste by 50% of food per capita by 2030, depending on the characteristics of each country.
Currently, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic have these committees and similar processes have been initiated in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay.
Likewise, the establishment of a baseline was recommended to measure the current status and progress towards reducing food losses and waste in the countries and the region.
Support for the dissemination of knowledge, methodologies and innovation among the countries was also agreed during the regional dialogue, during which the importance of FAO supporting the formulation of an international code of conduct for the reduction of food losses and waste was noted. .
Finally, the participants expressed their commitment to promote the institutionalization of this issue in the policies of the countries, through laws, norms, regulations and public programs.
At the close of the event, FAO reiterated its commitment so that, through collaboration between countries, the region can harmonize its efforts, identify needs and enhance the progress achieved to date.
Zero waste and loss to achieve zero hunger
Food losses and waste consider the waste of the total mass of food destined for human consumption. Food is lost during production, post-harvest, storage, and transportation; and they are wasted during marketing and consumption, by those who decide to discard them when they still have value.
FAO has called for actions at the global level since 2011 and at the regional level since 2014. In October 2014, a regional consultation was carried out with experts from 13 countries, in which the scope of the problem and the actions underway were analyzed. forming a Network of Experts where FAO exercises the technical secretariat.
SDG: Towards a new sustainable development agenda
II Newsletter on Food Losses and Waste in LAC
FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
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