Food Waste Conference: No Opportunity Wasted
On the 7th of November 2012, the first Food Waste Conference will be held in London. This conference will address the complex issue of food waste and explore what consumers, farmers, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, restaurants, NGOs and governments can do about it. There are many examples of good practice in the public, private and voluntary sectors addressing the food waste problem, and we will highlight some of these on the day.
Why is Food Waste such an important issue to address?
With the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050, whilst adapting to the consequences of climate change, countries need to ‚Äúgreen‚ÄĚ their economies and change the way they use natural resources and generate energy. Bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimate that agricultural production will have to increase by 70% to meet this challenge and offer food security to all.
Yet, despite all of this, we currently waste enormous amounts of food – in the UK alone hundreds of millions of meals are thrown away every year, in the Netherlands the picture is very similar. It is estimated that, worldwide, roughly one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. There are many causes: household food waste in developed countries accounts for more than 50% of the problem, but there is waste throughout the food supply chain resulting from quality, manufacturing, planning, storage, logistical and specifications issues. Food waste, across the world is not just a practical problem ‚Äď it is a major social, environmental, ethical and economic issue that needs urgent attention.The potential global savings from preventing food waste are estimated by McKinsey to be 180 billion euros.
The Food Waste Conference will provide answers to questions, such as:
- What can we learn from existing good practice at all stages of the food supply chain? How can collaboration and partnership help to prevent food waste?
- How can consumers be helped to waste less?
- What are the options for reusing and redistributing food?
- How should we dispose of food waste?