Waste not want not – the launch of a global campaign to reduce food waste

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In developed regions food is wasted annually because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption

Consumers and food retailers have a big part to play in dramatically reducing the 1.3 billion tonnes of food that goes to waste each year. Worldwide, that's about one-third of all food that's produced. Speaking at the launch of the 'Think, Eat, Save. Reduce your Foodprint' campaign in Geneva today, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said that wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically.

"What we're talking about is changing the role of the consumer, the individual in this global marketplace that is driving us towards an agricultural and food production system and reality that is socially and environmentally unsustainable."

And not surprisingly it's the industrialized world that is throwing away the most food. A study conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, estimates that consumers in Europe and North America waste as much as 115kg of food each year. In Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia that figure is 11 kg.

Ann Tutwiler, Deputy Director-General, FAO, says wasting food simply can't be justified any longer.

"If you take all of the food that is wasted in the industrialized world it amounts to more than the total net production of food in Africa. When we waste food we are also squandering energy, land, water, labour and other resources."

The Think Eat Save Campaign has advice for consumers, retailers and the hospitality industry on how to reduce food waste.

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations.

Duration: 1’41″

Filed under Today's Features.
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