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A global initiative committing major international food producers to tough new targets on food waste has been unveiled today at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s Climate Week in New York.
A voluntary resolution from the Global Agri-Business Alliance (GAA) calls on private sector members to halve their own food and agricultural losses by 2030, and work with suppliers and customers to do the same. It is aligned with one of the targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In prioritising food loss, the GAA is underscoring its ambition to address sustainability across global agricultural supply chains, it said.
But critics will argue that the move from the GAA, which had already included some food waste efforts in its charter, doesn’t go far enough. The resolution is voluntary and the companies signed up to the GAA – including PureCircle, Olam and Wilmar – only go so far in representing the global food supply.
Peter White, vice-president of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), says that it’s a step in the right direction.
“This is very significant because it’s the first ever global initiative addressing food loss supported by major agri-businesses, committing to halve their own losses by 2030,” he said. “WBCSD is extending support across the whole supply chain by involving other food and agriculture initiatives, and this engagement by companies is vital, since almost all food is produced by the private sector.”
Lost and wasted food is a major contributor to climate change, consuming around 25% of water used in agriculture and generating approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, with 800 million people going hungry every day and the world’s population continuing to grow, a third of all food produced is never consumed.
It’s a problem that costs the global economy $940 billion, WBCSD said.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019