Food waste, understand and act. Webinar 16.11.20 by EIT Food

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Drastically reducing food waste is essential, to address the ecological and social crises related to climate change and food security.

Beyond the responsibilities of institutions and supply chain operators, consumers themselves can take action to limit waste and the damage it causes. The webinarFrom Waste to Value: How to Tackle Food Waste‘, organized by EIT Food on Monday, 16.11.20, is dedicated to this topic.

Food waste and circular economy

The issue of food waste needs to be addressed systemically, as scientific research has amply demonstrated. (1) And the European Union has yet to develop, as noted above, an appropriate monitoring system to meet the indicators set out in UN Agenda 2030 (see next paragraph).

The circular economy is one of the keys to reducing resource waste, in general terms. According to Lansink’s scale, one must first of all Reduce. That is, saving the use of resources to the bare minimum, in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) logic, which should be considered already at the design stage of anthropogenic activities. And then reuse the materials, before even thinking about recycling, energy conversion and fate to waste (2-5).

Food waste and the SDGs

The sustainability of production and consumption – Sustainable Development Goal no. 12, among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – has a special declination on the food waste front.

‘By 2030, halve the volume of global per capitafood waste , both at the distribution and consumption level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains , including post-harvest losses’ (SDG 12.3).

Indicator 12.3.1, Global Food Loss and Waste, was provided to determine progress against SDG Goal 12.3. And it has two components:.

– Food loss index. The Food Loss Index (FLI) captures food losses that occur from the production stage to the retail stage (excluding). Measures trends by country in loss rates, for a basket of 10 commodities, relative to a reference period (sub-indicator 12.3.1.a).

– Food waste index. Instead, the Food Waste Index (FWI), still under development under the guidance of theUnited Nations Environment Program(UN Environment), is expected to measure food waste at the retail and consumer levels (sub-indicator 12.3.1.b).

Food losses and waste, the EIT Food course

EIT Food is a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) created by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body established in 2008 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe. The goal is to innovate the food system in the directions of health, sustainability and resilience.

The syllabus for the 16.11.20 course is structured as follows:

– Food loss and food waste, concepts and differences,

– Environmental, social and economic impacts of food waste. Effects on climate change,

– how retail systems and the expectation of varied and abundant supply have led to the current situation,

– Practical ideas for reducing food waste at home,

– innovative products and services to reduce waste in supermarkets,

– How to pressure governments and practitioners to activate change.

How to participate

The event is free and open to all European citizens. It is conducted in English (with subtitles) and is accessible through the EIT Food platform.

Dario Dongo and Marta Strinati

Cover image by artist Sylvain Pongi, https://www.sylvain-pongi.com/

Notes

(1) Cf. Julius Vulcan (2018), ‘Food wastage. Systemic approach and structural prevention‘. doi 10.13140/RG.2.2.28470.40001/4. Full text on ResearchGate

(2) Luca Foltran, Dario Dongo. Circular economy, ABC EU package. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 6.6.18, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/imballaggi/economia-circolare-abc-pacchetto-ue

(3) Dario Dongo. Fertilizers and circular economy, the new EU rules. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 18.11.19, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/fertilizzanti-ed-economia-circolare-le-nuove-regole-ue

(4) Dario Dongo, Selena Travaglio. Facilities on research and development projects for the circular economy. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 8/13/20, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/agevolazioni-su-progetti-di-ricerca-e-sviluppo-per-l-economia-circolare

(5) Dario Dongo, Giulia Torre. Circular Economy Package, implementation in Italy in September 2020. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 2.10.20, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/pacchetto-economia-circolare-attuazione-in-italia-a-settembre-2020

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.